Due to the fact that the licence fee has now been frozen until April 2017, the BBC is facing major cuts of up to 20% in its budget. As a result the BBC needs to make significant savings, and some programmes will see a reduction in their budgets while others will be cut completely. So how are we, the licence fee payers, going to be affected by these cuts?
Fans of Escape to the Country and other such shows are likely to be disappointed as repeats of factual programming will gradually take their place in the daytime schedule. Prime time drama and comedy, however, are being protected and more money will be available for serious factual programmes on BBC Two and BBC Four. The BBC News division has not been as fortunate: of the two thousand jobs that will be lost, several hundred will be from News. The BBC has been criticised by some for the impact these cuts will have on local news agencies, particularly as there will soon be fewer bulletins and neighbouring regions will start sharing current affairs programmes. Staff at BBC Nottingham, the home to East Midlands Today, said the cuts “will hit local broadcasting disproportionately”. A BBC spokesman responded by saying “We are seeking to achieve these savings at times which will have the lowest impact on audiences.”
Some have argued that the BBC should have simply sacrificed a channel, maybe BBC Three or Four, but both are often the site of new, interesting and refreshing programming; indeed BBC Four is receiving more funding to further this. All in all it seems that the high quality drama and factual programming that the BBC are associated with will remain untouched for now, but the future remains uncertain for the rest of the Corporation.