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BBC Claims It Would Cost Five Times More Than Netflix As Subscription Service

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

BBC Claims It Would Cost Five Times More Than Netflix As Subscription Service

The BBC argues its service is 'good value for money', having claimed it would be over five times more expensive than Netflix if it were to turn into a subscription service.

In a new report, titled Value for Audiences, the public service broadcaster says that an hour of its programming costs a household 9p, while an hour of streaming is the equivalent of around 15p.

"Compared with the market, the BBC continues to be very good value for money," the report explains.

"Each hour of BBC TV watched by a household costs it around 9p, on average.

"For an equivalent subscription video-on-demand service that is around 15p, and for an equivalent pay TV service it starts at well over 50p per hour."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It continues: "Taken together, a bundle of subscriptions providing advertising-free, high-quality services comparable with those offered by the BBC across video, audio and news would cost over £400 per year in comparison to a current licence fee of £157.50."

The basic Netflix package, which covers just one screen, costs £5.99 a month and £71.88 per year.

However, not everyone agrees with the apparently strong value of the BBC's license fee.

Philip Davies, a former member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said: "If the BBC is such wonderful value for money, why does it continue to insist on the criminal law being in place to force people to pay for it?

"If they really believed that, the BBC would be happy to join Netflix and move to a voluntary subscription.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Their desperation to avoid a voluntary subscription is the only proof we need that the BBC don't really think they represent such wonderful value for money."

The report also states that fewer BBC shows will be broadcast on rival streaming services in the future, with popular shows such as Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders sometimes mistaken for being Netflix originals.

Instead, such programmes will be made exclusively available on BBC iPlayer or Britbox once their current contracts have expired.

Director General Tim Davie said: "The person who is waiting for that show to come to Netflix will be increasingly disappointed."

Referring to the BBC as the 'heart of UK life', the report adds: "The BBC provides a service of constant and deep value to people of the UK. The UK public chooses the BBC around 250 million times a day.

"Every single minute of the day and night, the BBC is being used by 5 million adults, on average, and by a total of 45 million across all ages over the 24 hours."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, BBC

Jess Hardiman
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