Thursday, May 14, 2009

C4 boss criticises BBC for US acquisitions

Channel 4 chief executive, Andy Duncan, has criticised the BBC for buying overseas shows, reports Urmee Khan for The Daily Telegraph.
"I don't understand why any of the licence fee is spent on acquisitions" he said.

"The BBC competes against us and ITV for feature films and acquisitions, all of which would appear on British television some other way.

"If they didn't spend this money, they could spend it on original programming. There might have been a day decades ago when people went to watch a Christmas Day film on BBC One but that has gone."

He added: "One or two things the BBC have done like The Wire and Mad Men they argue wouldn't be picked up [elsewhere] but a lot of the money they spend would be picked up by others."


  1. I'd just be happy if the BBC stopped showing endless loops of "Diagnosis Murder" and "Murder She Wrote" on daytime television when they could be repeating British shows and giving money to our own creatives.

  2. Do we have enough long-runners to fill those slots though?

    You'd need a minimum of 65 episodes to fill the slot every weekday for three months.

    Thanks to the short commissioning cycles we have in this country, I'm not sure we've actually got enough content to fill the slots outside the soaps.

    Now, if you can convince commissioners to start buying in cycles of 13 rather than 6/8, it becomes cost-effective to use old British content in the daytime.

  3. (Well, after five years of production it does, anyway.)

  4. The BBC have enough old Holbys, Casualties, New Tricks, etc, to fill any slot they like. They don't need to run in 3 month cycles. The BBC can mix and match. It's not rocket science; they just need to run British. And the Guild is on the case.

  5. The BBC's primary responsibility is to its audience, not to British production companies. It seems reasonable in light of that that they look to buy the best television shows they can. Arguably they should be acquiring more foreign shows and commissioning less of those same old Holbys?


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