BBC could start making shows for foreign and UK broadcast rivals as part of Director-General's 'competitive revolution'

The BBC’s production teams have previously made programmes only for in-house us

Media Editor

The BBC could start creating shows for foreign and UK broadcast rivals in a radical and money-driven transformation that will be outlined today by its Director-General Tony Hall.

Lord Hall’s vision for a “competition revolution” – which would require major changes to the BBC’s regulatory structure – also involves making all of the BBC’s output open to competitive tender from commercial companies.

The BBC’s production teams have previously made programmes only for in-house use, although the organisation’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, sells successful formats to overseas buyers.

Lord Hall wants BBC Production to be allowed to go out and compete for business, both abroad and within the UK. “If independent producers can take their ideas to any broadcaster around the world, I would want the same for BBC Production. We’re up for a discussion as to whether they should offer ideas to other UK broadcasters,” he will say.

“In return”, the BBC would end the arrangement that allows commercial companies to compete to make 50 per cent of BBC shows and make all of the organisation’s output subject to outside competition, potentially giving greater choice to BBC channel controllers.

The plan is said to represent “the single biggest breaking open of the BBC since it was first conceived” in 1922, said one source. Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of business would be made subject for competition.

Lord Hall is anxious that the BBC is seen as a modern media organisation that is not afraid of subjecting its creative output to the open market and is able to create further revenue streams beyond the licence fee. “Proper competition and entrepreneurialism requires a level playing-field. We should have regulation in the TV supply market only where it’s needed so that we can let creativity and innovation flourish,” Lord Hall will say.

The proposals, released in advance to The Independent and some other news outlets last night, represent an attempt by Lord Hall to set the tone of the debate on the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter, which lasts until the end of 2016. “I welcome Ofcom looking at this question in their [Public Service Broadcasting] review and it’s clear that this will be one of the big debates in Charter review,” he will say.

Lord Hall believes his plan would make the BBC “the most contested organisation in the public sector”. He will urge his executives to adopt a “compete and compare” approach, adopting best industry practice to ensure value for money.

The proposals could not come about without major reform of the BBC’s charter, regulatory approval and significant changes to existing legislation.

The Director General’s comments are likely to provoke lively debate among the UK’s other public service broadcasters and the independent production sector. He is speaking at an event titled The Future of the Licence Fee, hosted by the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones