Adverts on the BBC World Service?

(Image source: BBC)

(Image source: BBC)

According to this article in The Independent, the international arm of the BBC plans to commercialize:

“The BBC has sparked anger with plans to commercialise the 80-year-old World Service, and to downplay the coverage of politics in its global television news output.

The changes, which one MP warned could jeopardise the future of the licence fee, are being lined up as the broadcaster prepares to take over funding of the World Service, previously paid for by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Reforms could include having advertising on the service.

In a letter sent to a member of the House of Lords, the Director of the World Service, Peter Horrocks, has also revealed plans to use private funding to support the prestigious radio network which began as the British Empire Service in 1932. “The BBC Trust is considering proposals for a wider commercialisation of World Service, which might involve launching new language services, if they could be commercially self-sustaining,” he told Lord Alton of Liverpool.” [continue reading…]

While it’s hard to imagine the World Service advertising over shortwave, I certainly believe adverts in local radio and TV markets could become a reality. The broader implication (at least, in The Independent) is that the BBC WS program offerings will shift in order to appeal to sponsors. Then again, this would come as no surprise, as every other broadcaster who relies on commercial sponsorship has done the same.

Many thanks to Jonathan Marks for the tip!

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