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22/07/2009

BBC 'Failing Remit'

A new report has slammed the BBC, arguing that the national broadcaster spends most of its money on "entertainment shows that fail to fulfil its public service remit".
The paper, entitled Auntie's Dying: Long Live Public Service Broadcasting, written by MPs Frank Field and David Rees, also suggests that it should lose its hold on the licence fee as well as sell off BBC1 and BBC3.
Alongside the two television channels, Radio 1 and Radio 2 should also be put up for sale, the report recommends.
Instead, the £3.6bn licence fee would be put in the hands of a new independent commissioning body.
Broadcasters including the by now smaller BBC would then pitch ideas for public service programmes to the body, which would be awarded funding accordingly.
"All other broadcasters across a range of outlets could bid for public broadcasting money to finance programmes that meet those criteria," the report said, suggesting that the BBC would then return to a more focused conception.
However, BBC2 and BBC4, Radio 3 and 4 and the World Service would gain probably all their funding from public service broadcasting awards, the report suggested.
The paper follows the government's recent ground-breaking Digital Britain report, which recommended that the licence fee should be top-sliced to help pay for regional news and other PSB content on other broadcasters including ITV.
(BMcC/JM)
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