The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CMF Response to Culture Secretary’s Announcement on BBC’s responsibility for over 75’s TV Licences

The Children’s Media Foundation was surprised and shocked to hear the Culture Secretary’s announcement that the BBC is to fund licence fees for the over-75s from 2018. The announcement was made despite a promised public consultation, which means that those who pay for the BBC or organisations like CMF which speak for those without a voice - such as children - have not been heard.

Despite assurances that this is a good deal for the BBC that will ensure its stability, the CMF remains concerned about the impact on services, particularly in genres like children’s which, according to Ofcom, has already seen a decline in content investment by PSB broadcasters of 95% from 2003 to 2013. In the same period the BBC’s spend was down by 11%. With more cuts on the way and given that the BBC is the sole commissioner of PSB content for kids, this can only be a bad deal for the nation’s children.

CMF Chair Anna Home said today:
“If BBC budgets are cut, then the entirety of culturally specific programming for children will be diminished. This is not like other genres, like sport, entertainment or drama, where competitors, PSB and non-PSB, can be expected to fill the gap. Without significant BBC funding, children's programmes in the UK will whither away, as no-other organisation is prepared to step up and fund UK-focused content.”

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)