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BBC cuts put content at risk

The BBC is aiming to shave another £400m (US$630m) from its annual budget with programming set to be affected, according to a report from the UK pubcaster.

The report, ordered by director general Tony Hall earlier this year, says that the broadcaster has so far saved around £1bn as a result of cost-cutting measures including a reduction in “content scope”.

However more cuts to programming are set to be introduced that will further reduce the pubcaster’s overall spend, alongside existing plans such as moving BBC3 to an online-only network.

The report says that the BBC has cut its budget by around £1.1bn, but that a figure of £1.5bn is being targeted by 2017, and that 90% of the licence fee is now spent on content.

Anne Bulford, the BBC’s finance chief, admitted that “after a long period of delivering annual savings, the challenge to avoid having to cut content is very real.”

“It’s vital that as much of the licence fee as possible goes straight to the programmes and services audiences love, and this report shows we’ve made great strides in becoming more efficient. We‘re doing far more for less.”

The BBC is currently preparing for negotiations with the government over the renewal of its royal charter in 2016.

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