LONDON — The BBC needs to cut a further £400 million ($630 million) a year from its budget by 2017, a report released Thursday stated, which is likely to hit programs and services.
The saving will be in addition to the £1.1 billion ($1.73 billion) a year the BBC has already sliced from its costs.
The previous cuts resulted in a decision to take youth TV channel BBC Three off air and move it online. The latest savings could lead to a similar fate being inflicted on high-brow channel BBC Four, but the BBC’s director of strategy, James Purnell, would not confirm this when interviewed on the BBC’s news show “Today.”
“We don’t want to close BBC Four,” he said, the BBC website reported. “What we’re doing is making efficiency savings, and what we’ve published today is a document that shows that over the last few years we’ve saved about £1.1 billion of our costs.
“By the end of this charter period, in two years’ time, that’ll be £1.5 billion ($2.36 billion) — that’s nearly half of the costs that we control at the BBC.”
The report stated that more than 90% of the TV license fee, which every TV set owner in the U.K. has to pay to fund the BBC, is now spent on content. BBC finance chief Anne Bulford said the broadcaster would do what it could to minimize the impact on content and services.
“It’s vital that as much of the license fee as possible goes straight to the programs and services audiences love,” Bulford said. “This report shows we’ve made great strides in becoming more efficient. We’re doing far more for less.”