HomeInsightsOfcom publishes its first annual report on the BBC


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Ofcom says that the report assesses how the BBC is performing against a backdrop of significant change in the media landscape. It finds that, while the BBC is generally delivering its remit for audiences, with whom satisfaction is relatively high, the BBC should go further in four areas:

  • transparency: as a publicly-funded organisation, with a privileged status in the UK broadcasting sector, the BBC needs to be more transparent and accountable;
  • original UK programmes: to remain distinctive, amid increasingly strong competition for TV audiences, the BBC should maintain its commitment to original UK content. The BBC will need to be more innovative and take more risks, both in the type of UK content it commissions, but also how it is made, and with whom;
  • attracting young people: the BBC is not reaching enough young people. As well as providing content that appeals, it needs to find new ways of reaching younger people that suit and reflect their viewing and listening habits; and
  • representing and portraying UK society: alongside the annual report, Ofcom has published the conclusions of a review of Representation and Portrayal on BBC Television. While viewers told the regulator that the BBC, and TV in general represents a wider mix of people than it used to, some people still feel less visible, or portrayed in ways that are narrow or inauthentic.

Under the BBC Charter and Agreement, Ofcom has responsibility for assessing and reporting annually on the BBC’s compliance with its regulatory obligations and its overall performance. To help it do so, Ofcom sets performance measures for the BBC. Ofcom is required to publish BBC performance data annually, and has included this as an annex to the Annual Report. This includes a summary of the evidence base, along with an assessment of the BBC’s performance by public purpose. To access the annual report, click here.