BBC Studios and Post Production (S&PP) could be sold after Delivering Quality First raised the prospect of third-party investment, industry figures have claimed.
In the report, which outlined the broadcaster’s wider plans to make cuts of £670m and leave West London, the BBC said it would “seek new ideas and potentially external investment for our resources business”.
BBC S&PP chief executive Mark Thomas emailed staff after the report was published to say the BBC’s wholly owned commercial subsidiary could now “access external funding to secure our future if we need to”.
He said: “We must accept it is very unlikely the BBC will be able to fund all our ambitions, including remaining at Television Centre or moving to a new location.”
Fineline Media Finance sales and marketing director Gareth Wilding said it would make sense for the BBC to float the facilities company as a separate business, and to buy services from it as an external supplier.
Azule Finance managing director Peter Savage added: “It certainly wouldn’t be a new model for the BBC. I think a full sale would be easier to manage than a co-investment model.
“That might send a shiver of paranoia around mid-range post houses in the UK because if the BBC were to sell it, it would need to guarantee it a large amount of business.” Thomas said the future growth of the facilities company would come from non-BBC work.
Last year BBC S&PP worked with over 250 media companies, making content for ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky as well as the BBC. Its credit include Britain’s Best Dish for ITV1, Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night for Channel 4and Deal or No Deal, (pictured) also for Channel 4.