The BBC is back in the news with more talks of cuts and savings.
The Guardian reports that BBC director general is looking for additional cost savings of 20% – about £400m – over the next six years.
One of the ways Thompson plans to cut costs is by reducing the amount spent on online services by 25%.
This might sound like a drastic saving. But it masks the fact that online is the poor relation when it comes to BBC finances.
According to the BBC Annual Report for 2009/2010 (PDF), the corporation spent £199.3 million on online.
A cut of 25% would free up just under £50m. Given the BBC’s total budget of £3.5 billion, the BBC would be shaving just 1.4% off its budget.
By comparison, television accounts for £2.3 billion, while radio takes up £603 million.
Just a 2% cut in spending on TV services would save approximately the same amount as a 25% cut in online.
TV and radio are far more well established than online, so it is much harder to take on and change deep-rooted practices.