BBC creates $12.3 bn, claims report

Broadcaster steps up fight to justify expansion

The BBC generates £7.6 billion ($12.3 billion) a year for the U.K. economy, according to a report to be published later this month.

The report, leaked to the Guardian newspaper, has been commissioned by the pubcaster to illustrate the extent of economic activity for which the BBC is responsible. According to figures supplied by financial firm Deloitte, the U.K. would lose $6.5 billion if the BBC were privatized.

In addition, independent producers would be worse off to the tune of $2.3 billion if the pubcaster ceased to exist, the authors of the report assert.

Report is designed to help persuade U.K. policymakers that the BBC, far from a drain on national resources, is a source of dynamic economic activity that can play an important role in helping the U.K. kickstart its moribund economy.

It comes as the BBC fights to counter a wave of attacks from both ends of the political spectrum.

News Corp. topper James Murdoch last year called for the BBC to become “far, far smaller.” Media minister Ben Bradshaw has also said he thinks the pubcaster has reached the limit of its expansion.

Moreover, there has been widespread criticism of how much the BBC pays its stars and senior staff.

U.K. crime novelist P.D. James, a former BBC governor, accused the pubcaster of being “like a very large and unwieldy ship… recruiting more officers… usually at salaries far greater than their predecessors enjoyed” (Daily Variety, Jan. 4).

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