BBC DG Dyke says TV broadcasting should not be left to the market

MUMBAI: "Broadcasting is too important to be left purely to the market". The remark was made by BBC Director-General Greg Dyke in New York.


Dyke was in the US to receive the prestigious International Emmy Directorate Award for outstanding services to broadcasting.

He said that television is not "just another commodity" like Starbucks or Coca Cola and disagreed with those who argued that television should be left to the market. "What is at stake is the kind of television people have a right to expect in their society TV which reflects their culture and their values.

"Television is only different from coffee or Coke if we recognise that fact. If we treat TV like these things, it will become like them. We end up with nothing more than a briefly enjoyable experience devoid of any lasting value."

He added, "It's wrong to see the BBC as a separate entity, divorced from the rest of the UK broadcasting system. "A strong, publicly-funded broadcaster at the heart of our industry has a positive influence far beyond the confines of our own channels and services."

Dyke added that, with the continuing take-up of subscription television and the advent of discussions on Charter Review, the role of all broadcasters was more vital than ever. He said that the BBC must and would continue to have a leading part by producing indigenous programming that reflected British tastes, British values and British culture.

He also sounded a warning note regarding the 'Americanisation' of the UK media. This is happening because of the size of the American market and the recent legislation that made it possible for an US company to buy any of the UK's commercial broadcasters. This would, argued Dyke, threaten a television landscape that reflected national culture and values. Programming would evolve into a commodity rather that something of intrinsic value and unbiased. As a direct result challenging news and current affairs would be the first to suffer.

Dyke went on to use the recent Iraq war to illustrate the difference in news coverage of the BBC and US networks. "News organisations should be in the business of balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other. This is something which seemed to get lost in American reporting during the war."

Coming back to the UK Dyke noted that despite its size, Britain spent more money per person on home-grown programming. Compared to the US where annual spend per person was $65, in the UK broadcasters spent $75 dollars per head, of which $40 was spent by the BBC.

"The BBC uses public money to create a powerful incentive for domestic investment across the board. Our freedom from commercial pressures allows us to set the benchmark for quality and range which the other networks must be willing to match if they are to compete" he said.

Any move to cut the BBC out of the equation would have a detrimental effect. Its commitment to indigenous programming across all its services meant that the UK's main commercial broadcasters were similarly committed. Without the BBC the UK broadcasting industry would follow natural market forces to maximise profit by increasing the amount of imported programming with less money spent on original programming.

Therefore, despite the arguments put forward by some commercial broadcasters, the BBC was vital as a catalyst for competition, quality and creativity. However, together with the rest of the UK broadcasters, the BBC faced the threat posed by globalisation Dyke added.

Latest Reads
Zapak and Cartoon Network India partner to launch ‘Ben 10 - Alien Run’ mobile game

Anil D. Ambani led Reliance Entertainment’s Zapak, India’s leading Gaming Destination, in association with Cartoon Network India, rings in the New Year with an epic launch for fans and gamers alike, with Ben 10 - Alien Run Mobile Game.

Television TV Channels Kids
Sony Entertainment Television makes Makarsankranti memorable for the commuters of Western Railway

The local trains in Mumbai are known to give a unique glimpse into the lives of Mumbaikars.

Television TV Channels GECs
ZEE announces offer on Zee Family Packs, now at Rs. 39* per month

With the new tariff/pricing regime all set to come into effect from February 01, 2019 ZEE, the No. 1 television network of the country, announces attractive launch offers for its consumers. Zee family packs will be available for Rs. 39* only. This special launch offer has been devised for consumers...

Television TV Channels GECs
Viacom18 introduces VIACUBS - a day care facility for employees' children

In continuation of its gender inclusive policies such as a 36-weeks maternity leave and flexible work arrangement, Viacom18 today announces the launch of Viacubs – a child day-care service for Viacom18 employees. Viacubs is a part of Viacom18’s WAVE initiative which focusses on safety, wellness,...

Television TV Channels GECs
Privé Unscripted to offer thought-provoking content from BBC

ZEEL’s premium English movie channel - &PrivéHD - is all set to telecast its new offering from the BBC library- Privé Unscripted. It brings not just movies inspired by real life but life itself showcased in all its raw and unscripted glory. The content from ZEEL’s association with BBC Studios,...

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
MTV to up its game in 2019 with new format shows

After claiming to have doubled its viewership in 2018, MTV is all set to up its game by launching the eighth season of MTV Unplugged, a singing show, on 26 January, 8 pm onwards. Royal Stag Barrel Select and MTV have collaborated to present the program.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
Hindi Movies most benefited genre in Chrome DM week 2

With a growth of 0.93 per cent as compared to last week (1), the Hindi movies genre marked the highest opportunity to see (OTS) among all categories in week 2 of Chrome Data Analytics & Media. In the Hindi ovies genre, Rishtey Cineplex gained the highest OTS with 95.1 per cent in HSM excluding...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Pro Volleyball League players present Mumbai team jersey to Sunil Gavaskar

Pro Volleyball League stars Mohan Ukkrapandian from Kochi Blue Spikets (L) and Ranjit Singh from Ahmedabad Defenders (R) present the official UMumba jersey to Mumbaikar and cricketing legend, Sunil Gavaskar, who is a panellist on Sony Pictures Networks India’s live studio show, Extraaa Innings.

Television TV Channels Sports
Nikhil Sangha’s Happy Anniversary has a powerful social message for all

While January 24 is observed as the National Girl Child Day across India, Nikhil Sangha’s short film ‘Happy Anniversary’ has a delicate yet poignant message for us all.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories