ITV has made the case that the BBC should be banned from acquiring international formats as well as U.S. drama and comedy series and films.
In a submission to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for their review of the BBC Charter, ITV said that the BBC should not be acquiring U.S. content – ranging from feature films to drama and comedy series, “under any circumstance”.
They were slightly less restrictive on international formats, such as The Voice, and finished programmes from other countries, stating that while the BBC should not be pursuing such properties, they could be the “buyer of last resort” if no commercial broadcasters were interested, adding the caveat that such shows should not go out on BBC One or BBC Two.
ITV went on to state that “there is a far better case for the BBC to be compelled to invest the money it currently spends on acquisitions on original UK films. Such an investment would turbocharge the UK film industry”. The submission also accused the BBC of chasing ratings and investing licence fee money in derivative and indistinct shows, with Bargain Hunt in particular being single out for criticism.
The formal submission from ITV comes as Charter Renewal is looming large and a deal is presently being worked out for the BBC to renew their contract for The Voice. ITV (who own series co-producer Talpa) also pursuing the property and despiet interest from the commercial broadcaster sources say that BBC will be retaining the rights, once again at a far lower price than ITV is willing to offer.