Letter: BBC changes spell disaster

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The Independent Online
Sir: Two things need to be said about the reorganisation of the BBC ("Birt begins the BBC break-up", 30 August).

The first concerns the reasons for it. Who is it that needs digital TV? The public may think it sounds wonderful to have 199 channels to choose from.

Do they imagine that these channels are going to be comparable to the BBC and ITV? The fragmentation of the market guarantees that no channel will have enough money to make decent programmes. You can already see this on satellite TV.

The second point is that the separation of the broadcasting and production arms of the BBC will inevitably lead to a disastrous lowering of standards, as has already happened elsewhere. Production people will not be attracted to working in the broadcasting arm and it will become the domain of the accountant and the man who cares for nothing but the bottom line.

As sole gatekeepers to the airwaves, they will very quickly impose their standards on the producers.

CLIVE EXTON

London N1

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