The BBC is to cut 1,000 hours of new TV programmes in 2023 as part of a drive to save money.
The cuts are part of the BBC’s bid to find £400m in annual savings by 2027/28, according its latest Annual Plan.
The corporation said that the current freeze of the price of a TV licence, which is £13.25 a month, “continues to place significant financial challenges on the BBC at a time of high inflation and media super-inflation”.
The corporation outlined initiatives to save money include “an annual reduction of 1,000 hours in content commissions across our portfolio”.
This year, 50% of that reduction will come from “fluctuations” in the sporting calendar, with no Commonwealth Games or men’s football World Cup, as there was in 2022.
The other 500 hours will come from different areas including BBC Four, which will focus more on archive shows and arts & music performances.
The BBC made about 12,500 “originated hours” in 2022. The BBC said that it spends more on, and commissioned more hours of, UK originated TV content than any other organisation.
In this year’s plan, the BBC said its strategy would include focusing on “more unique, high-impact content”. This echoes calls by BBC director general Tim Davie to take a ‘fewer, bigger better’ approach to commissioning.
Elsewhere, the plan noted that the BBC is used by nine out of ten adults, and that UK audiences spend more time watching BBC TV and iPlayer than Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video combined.
Davie said: “Our plans outline an ambitious year of creative excellence from the BBC, with trusted news and high-quality content to provide the best value for all audiences. This year we will bring people together like no other organisation can with the Coronation and Eurovision amongst the highlights.”
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