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Letter to Sec of State DCMS on Future of BBC

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Future of the BBC

We have to ask why we need the BBC and if we do how we fund it.
We do not need the BBC with its current slew of channels, stations, web sites and orchestras. 
We no longer need old fashioned channels occupying spectrum which could be freed up for other use like a Health & Sport offering.

We need:



One "popular" mainstream channel but it incorporates a daytime children's (morning), a Schools/Education (afternoon) channel and a repeat cycle from midnight to six o'clock for night workers (which should eventually be streamed)

This channel would be able to take 2 minutes of advertising per hour and 2 sponsored programmes between 4pm and midnight

Funded by the licence fee
C4 to be a JV partner in Children's company
Open University to be a JV partner in Education company
Both to be administered separately from the current BBC structure 
Advertising pays for their web presence 
iPlayer allowed to take advertising

One channel which shows films, documentaries, high and low end art and music, lectures et al (a combination of BBC2/3/4). It does not chase ratings. 
From 0800-1400 it will show repeats of the vast BBC Library
Funded by the licence fee

NEW BB Country/City 

This will give Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England and London (a trial) a daily 8 hour opt out series of channels.

Each country/city will have a three year licence to create their own programmes. These will be managed independently. 

They will be able to opt in and out of all BBC channels to assist their scheduling. They can add additional streaming channels paid for by advertising.

Social media presence 

Main channels paid for by the licence fee

NEW BB Streamed

One new joint venture (50:50) streamed channel between BBC & PACT and managed independently of the BBC 
Funded for 3 years by licence fee and advertising


One world class News Channel which incorporates the Parliamentary Channel (which should move to being streamed only). 

Social media presence 

It needs to be managed independently with its own board of directors 

Funded by licence fee

Review in 3 years
BBC WORLD SERVICE                                                                                                                            

One world class revamped BBC World Service (TV/radio/web) shared by OU, Independent companies, PBS providers (but managed by a new not for profit company NOT the BBC and to include British Council and some major galleries and museums)

Social media presence 

Funded by licence fee, advertising and sponsorship 

Review in 3 years

NEW BBC 3 to become Channel 4               

Paid for by advertising and managed independently

BBC 4 to become Channel 4.1                                                                                             


All other C4 channels to move to streaming

Spare spectrum to be auctioned

Radios 1 & 2 to take advertising to pay for the remainder of its stations save Radio 3 and 4

Own independent management structure

Radios 3 & 4 to merge 

Paid for by the licence fee

Own independent management structure

Local radio 

To continue but without licence fee support

New not for profit "owners" to have free access to BBC radio programmes. 

Web sites aka Social media                                 

Not to be funded by the licence fee except in specific cases already outlined

To be acquired by the Arts Councils over a three year period and to be found new homes or new sources of funding

Guaranteed licence fee funding whilst new homes found (maximum 3 years). 

BBC Worldwide                                 

To be privatised and profits assigned to new PSB board (see below).
What is an appropriate Management Structure for the next ten years?

We create a new body called the PSB Board - Public Sector Broadcasting - which oversees both BBC & C4 and the changes outlined above and will replace the BBC Trust.

It will collect the licence fee.

Non BBC companies will be able to bid in for new PSB channels especially online.

All the individual management companies outlined above will bid into the PSB for their 3 year rolling funding. 



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