Advanced Television

BBC’s Moore: “We’re punching above our weight”

April 21, 2023

By Colin Mann

BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore has declared the Corporation is “punching way above its weight” in terms of its performance compared with major streaming services.

Speaking to the UK Broadcasting Press Guild in London, Moore admitted the broadcaster was facing “tough” financial challenges, but confirmed that the content budget was largely protected, with cuts being made off-screen as much as possible compared to on-screen. Nevertheless, difficult decisions had to be made to ensure the BBC was fit for the future. “No area is immune from change or immune from those cuts,” she stated. “It’s important to listen to our audiences to make sure we are making the right decisions. We’re faced with managing the financial challenge while we adapt for the future.”

“The BBC is not unique in this; there are challenges right across the sector,” she admitted. “Many organisations are in a very similar position. I’ve been planning for the last two years to ensure that all licence fee payers get value from us while we’re adjusting to this ever-increasing on-demand world, which means keeping your broadcast offer as strong as possible while you migrate as many people as possible to the Internet-provided digital offer.

“I think what’s impressive is that we’ve been performing well at the same time. There’s more competition for screen time. There’s more choice for audiences  of all ages to migrate to an on-demand offer and there’s more money being spent on programmes than ever before. I think we’re delivering at scale and we’re succeeding. We’re the Number One video platform in the UK. We’re the number one  broadcaster with the highest market share and in fact, we’re outperforming Netflix Amazon and Disney+ combined. The public don’t always realise the scale of our performance. iPlayer is unparalleled in the breadth of genres it offers. We are a public service broadcaster, but we are fit for the digital age,” she asserted.

She contrasted viewing figures for Netflix’s You (2.1 million) with the BBC’s Happy Valley (12 million average over the first four weeks).  So far this year we’ve had six dramas that have delivered twice as much viewing on average than any drama from any SVoD player,” she noted, suggesting that a recent slew of awards “show that we are punching way above our weight. We’re setting the creative bar really high in this country and making programmes that really matter and resonate.”

She also announced a range of new content that she said demonstrated a continuing commitment to bringing audiences programming that they wouldn’t find anywhere else and championing British creativity for everyone. “The new commissions that I’m announcing today are quintessentially BBC, I believe they are shows that only we would make. We’re at our best when we follow passions, when we tell stories that haven’t been told before – and we have an immensely powerful story to tell,” she declared.

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