BBC to Reject Privatisation Proposals

02 July 2001

Following a thorough review of its business, the British Broadcasting Corporation has decided against privatising its commercial division BBC World.

The publicly-owned broadcaster judged that programme rights are too fundamental to its public-service remit to be sold off. Income from the sale of BBC shows and commercial and merchandising rights are reinvested in programme-making.

The controversial decision not to privatise rejects recommendations by the Davies Committee, established to explore future sources of funding for the Corporation. Chaired by Gavyn Davies, a Goldman Sachs analyst and vice-chairman of the BBC board of governors, the committee recommended the sale of up to 49% of BBC World, as well as the full privatisation of programme making – a proposal also rejected.

However, BBC senior executives are expected to show fresh enthusiasm for finding third-party business partners to help realise fully the potential of the broadcaster’s programming portfolio.

News source: The Times (London)