BBC’s Dyke aims for educational boost

Brit pubcaster's new director general unveils $320 mil plan

LONDON — Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general designate, has used his first public address since joining the pubcaster to announce plans to prioritize education during his time as DG.

Speaking to London’s financial community, Dyke estimated the cost of the initiative — covering everything from TV programming to interactive media — at about $320 million. The BBC is already spending around $640 million on educational content this year.

Dyke said the money will in part come from re-allocating BBC funding and through partnering with the private sector, but that even then the BBC will only be able to deliver if it can secure more money from the government.

The Beeb is waiting to hear whether it will receive extra cash from a new digital TV license — something the U.K.’s commercial broadcasters oppose. Another option is a significant boost to the cost of the existing license, currently $164 annually.

“If we can deliver our vision,” Dyke said, “the BBC will have made a major contribution to the learning society — a contribution which, arguably, no other organization in the country can deliver.”

Dyke will succeed the BBC’s outgoing DG, John Birt, in April.