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BBC to undertake review process as it considers service changes

The BBC says it's too early to be specific about the service changes that it will need to make in the coming years, following speculation about how it will pay for its ambitious plans over the course of the next Charter Period given its budgetary constraints.

It unveiled plans on Monday which include a new children's portal (iPlay), adding all episodes of a drama in one go on the iPlayer to allow binge viewing, creating a personalised radio service, developing a streaming news service, launching a dedicated BBC News homepage for each of the nations, and an expansion BBC World Service output, subject to government funding.

While avoiding discussing cuts in his speech unveiling the plans, BBC Director General Tony Hall said "We will inevitably have to either close or reduce some services."

The broadcaster's Future of the BBC report threatens services with the axe if it doesn't get enough funding during the next charter period:  

It said:
"In an ideal world, we would move with the audience. Although much of the audience is consuming in new ways, a large part continue to enjoy radio and television as they always have done—live and through channels.

For the next Charter, we need to serve both audiences. Other things being equal, we would therefore add these innovations to our portfolio initially, and only phase out services once they were no longer needed by audiences.

But that depends on funding.

The report added:
"In time, streaming news may replace rolling news. Children may prefer iPlay to scheduled television. The Ideas Service might mean we no longer need BBC Four."

The BBC confirmed it will now "undertake a review process" to consider the options about potential future service changes.

Read the BBC Director General's speech from 7th September 2015 in full here.


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