BBC Boss Warns of Netflix-Driven British Content Apocalypse

By Gary Cutlack on at

Uniquely weird and rubbish British TV is under threat, says Tony Hall, the current boss of the BBC. The obvious bad guy is Netflix, which is making TV production more focused around funding international smash hits and less keen on crappy regional sitcoms and stuff about teens vomiting and shagging on Mediterranean islands.

Hall says a funding gap of around £500m could emerge across all UK TV over the next decade, as producers cut spending on making programmes in the UK and only make things about superheroes in green studios to sell to streaming services instead. The UK's commercial channels will be hit as well, as more advertising money goes online. This would make it tough for the BBC to hit British content broadcast targets because he production companies will all be in New Zealand trying to successfully clone Game of Thrones for Amazon.

He's optimistic, though, saying: "The BBC has always shown a great ability to adapt to new challenges and make them opportunities. If we get the response right now, and the rest of the industry does the same, then we can safeguard the future of homegrown content and, rather than British content diminishing, we can kickstart a new golden age for British production." [Guardian]