Report: Budget cuts will force BBC World Service to drop Russian and Latin American services.

Posted: 23 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link
The Mail on Sunday, 22 August 2010: "The BBC is embroiled in a row with the Government over cuts in funding for the World Service. Officials at the Foreign Office have told the BBC to expect a reduction of up to 40 per cent in its annual £280 million budget. BBC sources say transmissions in Russia and Central and South America face the axe as executives have decided to prioritise broadcasts in regions of greater geopolitical significance, including poverty-stricken Africa, the politically troubled Middle East and Asia, with its increasingly influential commercial markets. ... It is understood the BBC will announce the end of broadcasts to Russia and Latin America in October when the Government finalises its spending review."

Financial Times, 19 August 2010, Jim Pickard and Alex Barker: "Michael Moore, the Lib Dem Scotland secretary, warned before the election that the DfID [Department for International Development] budget could be raided by other departments. He said: 'One thing that we will need to look very carefully at is that we don’t see DfID’s budget being the recipient of a lot of resources only for it then to be funnelled back to the FCO or the MoD.' Lord Howell, a foreign office minister,said, in a Lords debate last month, that ministers were considering using the DfID budget to help compensate for cuts of £11m to the BBC World Service. 'It is possible that some of the BBC World Service activities can be categorised as overseas aid and could be supported by DfID,' he said."

Perhaps BBC Worldwide international sales of BBC programming and concepts would be an appropriate source of funds for World Service.