Currently 80% of airtime must be dedicated to “originated” programmes, but from now on, this will decrease to 70%, with the remaining 30% “acquired’ programming.
“A lot of our content is officially defined as being “acquisitions” – whilst this might make you think it must be ready-made stuff we buy from other producers, in reality it simply means we don’t fully fund it. We “pre-buy” it – which means we commit to invest and get involved in storylines and scripts from the outset, before a single frame is created.
“So we get the highest quality programmes, tailored for our audience, at a fraction of the full cost. And because CBeebies is one of the world’s leading preschool channels, and producers want our involvement, we get the same level of editorial input and script approval that we would if it was a fully-funded BBC production. On CBeebies all this “acquired” programming is animation, which is so expensive to produce, few broadcasters have ever fully funded it, and it has always required international co-productions and broadcaster co-operation. Animation is by its nature easier to “localise” by re-dubbing, which is why UK animation made to CBeebies exacting requirements can also be easily sold to other broadcasters.”
He added that the changes didn’t mean that budgets for CBeebies would be cut, instead it’s “making better use of new programmes and being less reliant on some older ones.”
“CBeebies is the only pre-school channel offering such a wide range of British programmes,” he added on his BBC blog.
“No other channel reflects what life is like for children growing up in the UK, and no other pre-school channel spends so much on British production.The BBC is committed to the provision of high quality Children’s content, and has a duty to encourage UK production. Today’s decision by Ofcom will help us do that even more.”