Magazine article Screen International

Cohen: Licence Fee Cuts Will Threaten BBC Services

Magazine article Screen International

Cohen: Licence Fee Cuts Will Threaten BBC Services

Article excerpt

Speaking at the Media Summit which forms part of Screen publisher MBI's Creative Week event, the director of BBC television said: "Will we have to close services if we have a significant cut in funding? I think so".

Cohen stressed that "a smaller BBC is a smaller UK creative industries".

BBC director general Tony Hall and former Labour minister turned director of strategy and digital James Purnell will lead the negotiations when renewal talks kick offlater this year.

In 2010, negotiations between the corporation and the government resulted in a six-year licence fee freeze and an agreement by the BBC to take on additional financial burdens, including the World Service and Welsh-language channel S4C.

Cohen argued: "If the BBC takes on more financial obligations, it will have less money to make programmes. …

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