In a speech delivered at City University in London today, BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced his plan to abandon production quotas and have BBC In-House Productions produce content for other broadcasters.
The quotas currently in place require that 50% of the BBC’s programming comes from In-House, 25% comes from the indie sector, while the remaining 25% (The WoCC) is open for competition amongst all suppliers. The quota system has been described by Director-General Tony Hall as “Managed Competition.”
The plan spelled out in Tony Hall’s speech would see the quota system scrapped in favour of open competition, opening up the 50% of commissions previously reserved for BBC In-House. The DG said the plan was necessary given the growing trend of media consolidation, which has resulted in global producers taking up commissions in The WoCC, which was intended for new ideas.
Tony Hall’s plan is not yet fully formed and will be put to the BBC Trust, who will evaluate the proposals as part of their review of the future supply of programmes this Autumn. To come into effect, the new system will need to be codified in the corporation’s next Royal Charter.
In addition to scrapping quotas, the Director-General used to speech to lay out a plan which would see BBC In-House Productions become a fully fledged production company, likely as an element of BBC Worldwide, that would develop and produce content for other broadcasters both in the UK and globally.
“Managed competition worked to develop a mature market for independent production and to protect BBC Production while this happened. But now we need change”, Hall said. “Both big independent producers and BBC Production should be able to stand on their own feet”.