The BBC’s new director general, George Entwistle, has spoken out against the practice of splashing out huge sums of money on sporting rights and star salaries, signalling a return toward a more bread and butter approach to broadcasting.
Entwistle observed that there was no shortage of talent clamouring for a role at the corporation, giving them leeway to cut costs whilst conceding that they may need to focus on minority sports as commercial rivals muscle in on the bigger prizes.
It follows a string of defections from the public broadcaster in recent months with Jake Humphrey, face of the BBC’s Formula One coverage, departing for BT and Christine Bleakley heading to ITV.
Even veteran Beeb heavyweight Sir David Attenborough now spends more time with Sky than he does the BBC.
Speaking to the Radio Times Entwistle said: “We should fight to hang on to the people we love, but we should never bankrupt ourselves to keep them because that’s not what we are for," he said. “We should keep on looking to find the next generation.
“While I am director-general, the BBC will carry on having a serious commitment to sport. But look at the latest BT/Sky Premier League deal: that comes in at about £6.5 million per football game. We are simply no longer in that class.”