About the BBC - BlogAbout the BBC - Blog
Local Navigation
« Previous | Main | Next »

Delivering Quality First - exploring ideas

Post categories:

Caroline Thomson Caroline Thomson | 16:25 UK time, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

There have been various stories in the press this week speculating about proposals emerging from ‘Delivering Quality First’, which is our wide-ranging consultation with all BBC staff on how the BBC should deliver the highest quality programmes and services under our new licence fee settlement.

I understand that some of these stories may sound drastic so I want to explain the process and where we’ve got to so far.

The Director General has challenged the senior managers overseeing this work to think radically about what the BBC should look like in six years time, what our priorities should be and what we should do less of. And they’ve done that. But at this stage, the outcomes of these discussions are still just ideas.

I can assure you no decisions have been made yet and none of the ideas currently being explored will definitely happen. Equally, I can’t rule anything out and we are still welcoming further suggestions.

We won't be giving a running commentary on every speculative idea - but I want to be clear that our commitment to quality content as well as value for money is running right through this process.

On the subject of local radio, it’s important to remember that representing the UK’s regions and communities is one of the BBC’s six public purposes. With the rest of the local news sector at increasing risk of market failure, the BBC’s contribution to local journalism is more important now than ever. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking at the most effective way of delivering it.

As part of last year’s strategy review, we looked hard at our local services, making our networks more distinctive, increasing the amount of news and speech programming and investing in local journalism. Reach for our local services has risen recently and the question now is, how can we take this further within a flat licence fee settlement?

And regarding sports rights, we need to remember that delivering great sporting moments to the audience unites the nation. This weekend, viewing of the Six Nation’s Calcutta Cup game between England and Scotland peaked at 8 million viewers and the BBC Sport website received 3.9 million visitors on the day of the England v France game.

Looking ahead, the plan is to bring the proposals from all the staff consultations together and test them against out public purposes and priorities. These will then be shared with staff before the final proposals are submitted to the BBC Trust for its approval in July. The BBC Trust will consult the public before any final decisions are made.

I can’t pretend there aren’t difficult choices and some painful decisions to be made but I’m hopeful that by thinking radically and being transparent about the process the decisions we make will be in the best interests of the BBC and our audiences.

Caroline Thomson is the BBC's Chief Operating Officer

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I have never worked at the BBC. I know quite a few people that have and do.

    They all talk about how top heavy the management structure is throughout the parts of the BBC they have worked in. Many industries have learnt the hard way that overmanagement can follow the route of diminishing returns.

    This overmanagement has probably come about in the hope of showing accountability to the licence payer, but instead has become a monster.

    I suggest the complete removal of management strata. Let each specialist area run itself.

  • Comment number 2.

    Caroline, given that:

    1. The BBC wasted over £100m on its property rebuilding.
    2. You are in charge of BBC property.
    3. You are paid half a million a year.

    Isn't it obvious how the BBC could save half a million. And another half a million if Tim Davie left after the debacle of 6music and Asian Network.

  • Comment number 3.

    Regarding: "As part of last year’s strategy review, we looked hard at our local services, making our networks more distinctive, increasing the amount of news and speech programming and investing in local journalism. Reach for our local services has risen recently and the question now is, how can we take this further within a flat licence fee settlement?"

    Google loves text. BBC could generate significant revenue from transcriptions of some of the audio content. This is entirely consistent with its aims. There is a small trial running at New Listener. Just Google "new listener" if you're interested.

    Mods: Kindly delete this line and publish the comment, or pass it on if you think it belongs in the Suggestion Box rather than on the page. Thank you.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Caroline thanks for this.i note this blog mentions sports rights amongst other things and says 'The BBC Trust will consult the public before any final decisions are made.'i emphasis the ANY with regard to the matter of cuts.Why didnt this include cuts to F1 then?Has the BBC not only just let F1 fans down,done a really bad deal but also clearly gone against what it has publically on its own website said?Also how has the BBC been transparent in refusing to engage with the 13,000+ comments from upset F1 fans on your website all with justifable,in my opinion, questions about your processes and decisions.If you want to be transparent answer them and also prove you did not approach Sky or move to block the channel 4 bid for F1 when you heard about it?Also you say you aim to make the best decisions for both the BBC and its audiences.This is best for neither.BBC want to save money and many F1 fans (your audience) want F1 fully on free to air TV.As much as many of us love BBC F1 the BBC management have let us down by not consulting public first as promised here and you should have let F1 go totally to Channel 4 as bid.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello Caroline,

    You say 'This weekend, viewing of the Six Nation’s Calcutta Cup game between England and Scotland peaked at 8 million viewers' which is commendable and proves it is a popular event with it being Two nations from within the UK but can I ask why the BBC chose to sell off half the BBC coverage for Formula 1 which regularly pulled in 5 to 6 million viewers for each showing?
    It goes against logic to lose such a highly viewed program, a program that has passionate followers some of us who have followed F1 for 40+ years (i.e long term guaranteed viewers)

    say also say 'Looking ahead, the plan is to bring the proposals from all the staff consultations together and test them against out public purposes and priorities. These will then be shared with staff before the final proposals are submitted to the BBC Trust for its approval in July. The BBC Trust will consult the public before any final decisions are made.' yet Formula One has not been discussed with the public and you have entered into a deal with SKY with no transparency whatsoever.

    Without doubt the BBC has received more complaints than any other complaint possibly in the BBC's history yet the BBC refuse to say anything, this goes against everything you are saying above.

    The thing i cannot understand is the logic behind this deal, the BBC attract 5 to 6 million for every race, now the BBC can only show half the races yet SKY can show all, this means to watch all the races people would have to subscribe to SKY at a cost of £600 thus if people do this then they are unlikely to watch the BBC coverage again so in turn you loose viewers? yet are still committed to pay for the coverage for 7 more years. this defies logic as your value for money will be dramatically reduced.

    Please can you give us loyal viewers some feedback on this matter?

    Thanks

  • Comment number 6.

    Also Caroline can you shed some light on whether this deal was Legal in the first place please read http://www.petition.co.uk/investigation-into-the-legality-of-the-recent-bbcsky-f1-deal

  • Comment number 7.

    When was the consultation for F1 fans? Since when has blocking Channel 4's bid and bringing in SKY good for the licence payer? You have achieved in uniting the nation through sport, as the SKY F1 deal has has united fans as never before in disgust of this shady deal!

  • Comment number 8.

    The BBC is now an over-managed shambles, money is wasted on consultants, grandiose building projects and poor strategic decisions. The above statement is meaningless in the face of the Sky 'share' of F1 coverage.
    When pruning a tree, it is usual to remove twigs and branches, maybe an overhanging branch - you never start at the roots and work upwards.
    The license fee is now just a tax, having to pay to watch sports once free on BBC is disgusting.
    BBC managements has lost touch with the real world, and the public they serve.

  • Comment number 9.

    So the bbc trust (ha ha i think not) will consult us,rather than at present insult us on the matter of F1.
    I await being consulted on this,a i think the whole matter has been a dreadful mess.
    If I am not consulted,is it fair to think the bbc are a bunch of LIAR'S?,
    I use lower case on bbc,as sign of my contempt toward the sell out of a award winning show,and the total lack of openness the bbc has shown us.
    We use your blogs,you ignore,and shut them down.
    So please consult with us.

  • Comment number 10.

    I just tried to post on here,straight to moderation?,i just asked when the bbc would be consulting, rather than insulting the F1 fans.
    Or if they are Liar's,as no consulting seems to have been undertaken,nor do they answer the many questions posted on the bbc site blog's, in fact they shut them down........
    I await my first blog being put up,or does bbc censor us?

  • Comment number 11.

    I see my first comment is now shown,thank you......
    Will you now consult with us????????????,or are you Liar's after all?.......

  • Comment number 12.

    Could you pkease inform me what has happened to my post,(posted at 15.31 on 13/10/2011)

  • Comment number 13.

    Given that the author (a very senior BBC Executive) said "The BBC Trust will consult the public before any final decisions are made" I would like to know why the Formula 1 rights deal was announced prior to the consultation. The proposed reduction in sports rights spend is clearly part of 'Delivering Quality First' and subject to consultation, and the F1 deal is only happening in order to reduce sports-rights spend. Saying anything else is simply not credible. Indeed F1 rights sharing is even mentioned in the BBC Trust's document as an example of reducing spend and it even states how the F1 rights deal will allow other services to be maintained! It is an absolutely central part of the proposals.

    The BBC Executive must provide an explanation as to why viewers were denied a say on a key part of the proposals - contrary to previous public statements. Saying we did the deal 'because we could' and that 'individual Sports rights decisions are not a matter for the BBC Trust' simply wont do and show enormous disrespect for the public's intelligence.

    Failure to explain would give a very strong impression that the BBC deliberately denied viewers a say on a key plank of the proposals.

    It is reasonable to assume that had the F1 deal been announced at the same time as all the other DQF proposals, a large proportion of the 6000+ viewers that complained would've had their say in the consultation instead. The BBC Trust may then have concluded that viewers value the BBC's sports portfolio more than other areas and asked the executive to recast their proposals.

    I and others would like an explanation and redress. Redress could take the form of renegotiating the deal and a public apology - A public apology for failing to uphold the high standards of public business that the BBC holds other too. Just imagine the amount of BBC News coverage had the Govt. implemented part of a policy that was still subject to public consultation.

    Failure to explain and provide redress would almost certainly make this a matter for the regulatory authorities.

  • Comment number 14.

    ''The Director General has challenged the senior managers overseeing this work to think radically about what the BBC should look like in six years time, what our priorities should be and what we should do less of. And they’ve done that. But at this stage, the outcomes of these discussions are still just ideas.

    I can assure you no decisions have been made yet and none of the ideas currently being explored will definitely happen. Equally, I can’t rule anything out and we are still welcoming further suggestions.''

    Well the priorities seem to be quite clear... more drivel / ''entertainment'' shows, less of what the BBC does better than anyone else.... LIVE SPORT!!

    If nothing will be decided until July 2012 why has the deal with BSkyB been done 12 months early? The current contract runs out after then.... or are Auntie hoping that by announcing everything else just before the Olympics it will get well buried?

    Agree with tim1971 wholeheartedly.

  • Comment number 15.

    Quote from your explanation on moderation....

    "All moderation is done by a team of trained human moderators. A comment is never failed without being read and reviewed by a human moderator. However, we have filters to prevent certain offensive words (are these words BBC,COST,WASTAGE,
    LICENCE FEE,F1,F0.5,FORMULA ONE,SKY,CLOSED BLOGS,SALFORD,MANAGEMENT or ANY COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE?) from being posted, or to detect comments using words which may indicate a breach of the House Rules."
    Posting my request for an answer as to why a previous post was NOT posted does not constitute transparency.

  • Comment number 16.

    Dear Caroline

    We have a growing list of quotes from representatives of the BBC stating that the DQF process included a public consultation, eg:

    Yourself, on this blog:
    "I can assure you no decisions have been made yet and none of the ideas currently being explored will definitely happen."
    "The BBC Trust will consult the public before any final decisions are made."

    In the DQF public consultation docs:
    "If approved by the Trust, BBC management will implement the changes during the course of the next five years." [nb The word 'if'.]

    And even the Chairman of the Trust states in his introduction to the consultation docs:
    "Before the Trust agrees or implements any changes, however, we want to test them with the public and the industry."

    When were the changes mid-contract to F1 coverage tested with the license-fee-paying public?

    When were the changes mid-contract to F1 coverage approved by the BBC Trust?

    And for those concerned about other aspects of the DQF proposals, are *any* of them able to be changed depending on the feedback the Trust receives from the public?

    Or are they all set in stone?

    Regards

  • Comment number 17.

    The BBC Trust found that amongst the BBC's sports rights only Formula 1 (along with Wimbledon tennis) achieved their goals, yet the decision to jump into bed with Sky in order to block Channel 4 from showing Formula 1, was taken without any consultation of the public, contrary to what the BBC said would happen ... Why?

    F1 Cost per Viewer Hour = Hit
    F1 Cost per Viewer = Hit
    F1 Actual Reach 54% = Hit
    F1 Actual Live Rating = Hit

    Other sports in the report:

    Euro 2008 Cost per Viewer Hour = Miss
    Euro 2008 Actual Reach 35.2% = N/A
    Olympics 2008 Cost per Viewer Hour = Miss
    Olympics 2008 Actual Reach 42% = Miss
    Olympics 2008 live Rating = Miss
    Open Golf 2009 Cost per Viewer Hour = Miss
    Open Golf 2009 live Rating = Miss
    Snooker 2009 Cost per Viewer Hour = Miss
    Snooker 2009 live Rating = Miss

    It is clear Formula 1 was not cut due to costs, but for reasons the BBC are keeping to themselves.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why did you sell of the F1 to sky? Why didn't you get rid of BBC4 (A channel that showed a programme called "The Secret Life Of Waves") with it's awful shows that simply bore everyone and everything on the planet.

    Well done BBC, really well done and thanks for answering all the question I and many other F1 fans have. (You complaints department is about as useful as a blind bloke reading a map)

  • Comment number 19.

    Regardless of which BBC services we value most, whether its F1 or BBC4 or whatever, the point is that there was supposed to be a consultation where viewers could have their say before any final decisions. It would take some remarkably contorted logic to claim the F1 deal is not part of the 'Delivering Quality First' initiative and that element of the programme should not have been made a fait accompli prior to the consultation.

    Referring back to my point No. 13 above. I think we are entitled to answers.

  • Comment number 20.

    The words you use above have, since written, been proven by BBC actions on SKY getting F1 coverage to be totally empty and the BBC not worthy of its claim to be a 'public service broadcaster'.

    The F1 'deal' to give live coverage to SKY was not announced as a proposal, was not consulted upon amongst licence fee payers and since July had been the subject of continuous censorship on BBC blogs, not due to any rule breaking but because the truth seems very inconvenient at this time.

    Ms Thomson you said:

    "I can assure you no decisions have been made yet and none of the ideas currently being explored will definitely happen. Equally, I can’t rule anything out and we are still welcoming further suggestions.

    We won't be giving a running commentary on every speculative idea - but I want to be clear that our commitment to quality content as well as value for money is running right through this process."

    Clearly BBC actions since then has given the lie to everything you promised your licence fee payers.

    Not only is this a failure of the trust invested in the BBC by ordinary people but it removes any justification for continuation of the licence fee tax. Please do not be surprised when public support for the BBC disappears given the BBC's failure to support its public.

  • Comment number 21.

    No consultation with us viewers over the F1 rights, it was announced during the mid-season break so hoping it would all blow over while there was no F1 on TV (well that didn't work).Apparently "uniting the nation" once a year and not every race weekend is more important to the BBC. Also, the fact that this deal was announced just to stop another FTA competitor getting the rights just shows how the BBC really do not care about us genuine fans. So really this whole saga has been a shambles, shame on you.

  • Comment number 22.

    I am both confused and concerned that the BBC appear to be ignoring the "elephant in the room" when there is a total discrepancy in the information in the "Delivering Quality First consultation document", and the reply I received from Mr Land when I wrote to him about the F1 coverage deal.

    The Director General has challenged the senior managers overseeing this work to think radically about what the BBC should look like in six years time, what our priorities should be and what we should do less of. And they’ve done that. But at this stage, the outcomes of these discussions are still just ideas.

    I can assure you no decisions have been made yet and none of the ideas currently being explored will definitely happen. Equally, I can’t rule anything out and we are still welcoming further suggestions.

    We won't be giving a running commentary on every speculative idea - but I want to be clear that our commitment to quality content as well as value for money is running right through this process.

    In my reply from Mr Land he states;

    I can confirm that the BBC signed a binding contract with FOM in July 2011 for the broadcast rights to Formula 1 from 2012 to 2018.



    As noted in the BBC Trust’s consultation document on Delivering Quality First, it is not for the BBC Trust to decide which sports rights the BBC acquires. The BBC Trust’s consultation document is requesting the public’s views on, inter alia, a reduced spend on sports rights on BBC One, prioritizing those sports and events which have greatest national resonance, and in particular the events listed by the Government.



    The BBC Trust sets the strategy, remit and high level budget for the BBC, and within that strategy, it is up to the BBC Executive (and individual divisions such as BBC Sport) to make decisions about scheduling and acquisition of sports rights, including Formula 1. The decision taken with regards future coverage of Formula 1 is consistent with all relevant Service Licences and is within the remit of the BBC Executive to take, without specific approval from the Trust.

    This response infers that F1 fans must accept the deal without question and not be allowed to have their voice heard. I feel strongly that this is against my constitutional right as a licence fee payer, a resident of the UK and an eligible voting adult. The response also implicates that the consultation document has no dew-restriction on the outcome of formula 1 viewing.

    F1 fans have united in their efforts to gain answers to fundamental questions about the deal, including writing to MP's but, have become disillusioned by the possible blocking and enforced silence of information.

  • Comment number 23.

    I agree with everybody above me, and also point out that if refusing to explain yourselves over the F1 deal is ok, can we all refuse to pay our licence fees as we the paying public think it would be ok not to pay?, if the BBC are so short of cash I wonder how many of us could you afford to take to court? The door has to swing both ways, this so called transparency doesnt seem so good from our side. As your wage payers maybe we have a right to ask for clarification and to demand that the pruning starts at management level.
    Have a nice one.

  • Comment number 24.

    I find it incredible you now wish to consider us tv licence payers our views on what we would like to see,and how you do your programming.When you have clearly made decisions without consulting us licence payers.I think we have a right to say what we would and would not like to see.

    You claim you are committed to sport,yet you make a tv deal with SKY without consulting us tv licence payers on it.It was also very convenient the way the deal was announced also.It seemsed very convenient to announce the deal after the british grand prix,and just in time for the mid season break.Clearly the timing of the announcement was made due to the fact you know there would have been mass protests made at silverstone by british f1 fans and licence payers.

    I understand changes have to be made to save money.But F1 is your prized asset when it comes to sport,and you coverage is exceptional and enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.You have a good 6 million F1 viewers who feel very angry over your deal with SKY.The BBC wastes money on channels such as BBC4 which you decide to keep even tho you have such tiny audiences.And also why move alot of your resources to salford if you are clearly trying to save money?......

    I ask one simple question also,"How is this deal with SKY in the best interests of us british F1 fans?.......Simple answer it isn't.You are forcing us uk viewers to fork out another £500 if we want to watch a full season of F1 coverage.Many of us are struggling with high fuel and food prices,never mind trying to find the money for a years SKY subscription.I'm sure many british tv licence payers would prefer you to save money by axing other sporting events as well as BBC4 to keep F1.

    What appalls me the most is that it was the BBC who brought SKY to the table.You could have clearly made a deal with Channel 4 to keep F1 coverage free to air,yet you decide to go with SKY and then claim it's a good deal for british f1 viewers.The BBC and FOTA were supposed to be commited to keeping F1 free to air and you have totally betrayed licence payers and F1 fans alike.

    F1 is a british sport and a british brand,and most of the teams are based here in the uk.It's all very well saying that licence payers and f1 fans will just have to accept it,but that just isn't good enough.We pay our money and we should have a say on what we want to watch.Theres no transparencey with you at all,and you clearly put profit before your viewers and payers.Your F1 decision has caused outrage and licence payers have written to MPS in disgust over this new deal.And i might add my MP thinks it's a disgraceful himself.

    Many viewers are very concerned that now you have let SKY have their foot in the door that F1 will soon be controlled by SKY,and that sooner or later all F1 coverage will be done by them.And that if you allow it to happen will be the end of F1 for fans and tv viewers!

    Put your licence payers and tv viewers first,not your profits.

    F1 should remain free to air!

  • Comment number 25.

    I just have to concur with the majority on here and ask when and where the consultation took place and are there witness statements or minutes recorded from the consultation?

    If consultations did not take place, then this is the most hypocritical and outrageous blog to date, and there have been a few.

    Please can the BBC be more forthright and "honest" and explain the course of events that led to the decision to cut F1 and block rival bids for the whole coverage.

    I await your response.

    Yours hopefully,

    SirAdamofWarburton

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree with all of the above, when did you first come up with this sky deal??? did you really cut out channel 4 from the deal just so then you can show half the races, i understand you want to keep viewers but you would of got a far better response, if you held your hand up said you cant afford it but in the interest of viewers (we pay the license fee!), it is going to remain on free to air channels (channel 4)

    can we please have some answer and stop hiding away, there is only 3 more races left this season and you havent given us ANY information in regards to what you are showing next year

    thank you

  • Comment number 27.

    Two points I would like to make.
    First, if staff were really consulted I think the outcry from within their own staff would not be this loud.
    Second, I took part in the BBC Trust consultation on DQF, the consultation after the proposals were published. This was my input on section 2 "television":

    One of the 5 key pillars is: Events that bring communities and the nation together.

    In a report from January 2011 on the Management of sports right commissioned by BBC Trust it is concluded that Formula 1 is an event "of national resonance that bring the nation together".

    The report continues: Formula 1 (...) attract a younger (16-34) male audience that is otherwise hard to reach.

    So in line with the 5th pillar, the savings made on Formula 1 cannot be justified and should be made elsewhere within the BBC.

    So, even on items where there was a consultation paper available, this was ignored.

  • Comment number 28.

    Why did the BBC believe that this was the best deal for the taxpayer? It's not rocket science, if you can't afford something don't pay for it. In this case why didn't the BBC just not renew the contract and let all the other channels bid independently? Or was it that the BBC took it upon themselves in believing that the F1 coverage on the BBC was so good the fans would be happier to see only half of the season with the BBC than the whole season with channel 4? What a massive mess-up this has been and still we are greeted with silence.

  • Comment number 29.

    Never before have I read the comments on a BBC blog and totally agree with every single response.
    Intelligent responses and disgust a
    t the upper managment costs, especially at the disgraceful way "F1 gate" has been handled.

    Wake up BBC.

  • Comment number 30.

    i say give ch4 & itv £45 mill from the licence fee as compo
    and to teach the bbc a lesson

    and now the fee is capped the bbc has the cheek to drop services by 20%!
    a cap means it stays the same amount its not been reduced by 20% so why the service drop?

    drop your services, we drop the licence fee by the same amount

  • Comment number 31.

    Can someone from the BBC please clarify that this post is being monitored?

    Or is it a case of write a Blog and forget about it?

  • Comment number 32.

    I have emailed the author of this blog, but received an out of office for this week. So hopefully she will see it on Monday, and directly close this blog to comments ;-)

  • Comment number 33.

    Have you read the entry of Jake Humphrey on twitter:

    We've got great F1 plans. It'll be different but we WILL make live race coverage even better, and highlights also be compelling viewing.

    About time they told us what there plans are for 2012.

  • Comment number 34.

    Also Martin Brundle mentioned the following on Twitter:

    Answer to tweets. Yes I've had an offer from BBC and Sky. Yes I'ill be commentating F1 next year.

    So Sky and BBC will share F1 commentators with Martin part of the shared team.

  • Comment number 35.

    I can not believe the author of this blog has written this with a straight face.

    Either this person has no idea of what has happened over the last few months with regards to F1 deal, MP Don foster writing to the bbc, which is a problem in itself, or is purely looking to antagonise every licence fee payer who is tired of the bbc wasting money and cutting decent services to provide more programs that do not hit the their goals as show in post 17 above.

    Once again Shame on the BBC………….No to Sky.

  • Comment number 36.

    @35 Caroline is the COO if the BBC, so she knows exectly what is going on.

    Do take care that she wrote the blog early this spring, so you are responding to an old blog. That does not mean, however, that the author is not responsible to react to the comments made.

  • Comment number 37.

    Update on BBC/Sky F1 deal: the telegraph reports that the Sky team will have Martin Brundle and Crofty as their main commentating team. RIP BBC F1

  • Comment number 38.

    It seems most unfortunate that the unequivocal guarantee of no action without consultation at the end of this blog written in March this year by Ms Thomson - presumably directed at licence fee payers - turns out not to be an operative statement (to put it as politely as possible) in relation to removing F1 live coverage.

    The interview with Ms Thomson on 6 October (look up Caroline Thomson on the BBC website) where the removal of half of F1 is put to her as typical "muddle headed" thinking is most instructive. I anticipate most sensible peoiple can draw their own conclusions about Ms Thomson once they have watched the interview.

    Accordingly, I make no further comments save for a small wager, to myself, that this blog will soon close for comments (and there will, of course, be no reply by Ms Thompson to the unanimously critical comments made) and the aforementioned interview clip will disappear without trace.

  • Comment number 39.

    Please could you look at some way of keeping the Doctor Who Confidential programme? This is one of the best reality TV programmes on the television.

  • Comment number 40.

    Hello, many thanks for your comments. I wanted to come back and respond to a few of the questions raised here, particularly around the consultation process and timings for the new Formula 1 deal.

    Ben Gallop has explained the new F1 deal in detail over at the BBC Sport blog. We believe the new deal represents the best possible value for all Licence Fee Payers in a very difficult financial climate. Further details of the BBC’s plans for next season will be released as soon as we can.

    Some of you have asked why the BBC Trust is running a consultation process for Delivering Quality First, but not for the F1 deal.

    Part of the BBC Trust’s consultation looks at whether the BBC’s proposal to reduce the overall amount spent on sports rights fits with the strategy it has set. However, this consultation does not include specific operational decisions taken by the BBC on a day to day basis for example the de-commissioning of a major drama series or the acquisition of format rights to a new Saturday night entertainment programme.

    The recent actions taken by the BBC around Formula 1 are another example of this kind of operational decision, and are therefore not part of the DQF consultation. This is also why the timings for the new rights deal (announced in July 2011) differ from the timings of the DQF consultation.

    Caroline Thompson, COO

  • Comment number 41.

    @40 Dear Ms. Thomson,

    I congratulate you on actually responding to blog comments, I have lost the wager with myself. I am afraid my congratulations cease there.

    Ben Gallop (does he still work for the BBC as he has been missing from public gaze since July?) did not "explain" the deal with Sky - he tried to justify it, provided a few half truths and missed out one essential item - that this deal was done to save money while cutting out any chance of free to air coverage from , for example, the other public service broadcaster, Channel 4. No explanation or additional information, despite many thousands of requests and ensuing complaints has been forthcoming from the BBC or its management. Many other questions remain unexplained and no management response from the BBC has been given from 29 July until your blog comment (which , like the Barbara Slater attempt, is, with respect, merely trying to justify the unjustifiable). Some might think this disgraceful and a massive show of contempt for licence fee payers.

    If you are truly contending that abandoning a contract to show F1 free to air with two years to run, doing a deal with Sky to remove half or more of F1 races from free
    to air television for, it seems, at least six years and preventing licence payers having any alternative for UK coverage beyond paying some £600 p.a. to Sky is merely a "day to day operational decision" then you are confirming the "muddle headed" nature of the BBC management - you will be familiar with this description from your recent interview.

    It seems now very clear the BBC Trust exercise is just a sham - any decisions can be taken having a fundamental effect on programming and millions of viewers and then described as day to day decisions.

    Is there any chance that the BBC will, at least, have the basic courtesy to:-

    (a) apologise for what it has done, including the dreadful attempted spin put on the disaster by Gallop and Slater (no doubt under instruction) when first confessing to the Sky deal, and

    (b) actually explain the details of an agreement reached some three months ago including whether or not it will show full delayed races as Mr. Ecclestone has publicly claimed it could or merely so-called "highlights"?

    I reiterate you are to be congratulated on at least providing a management response in a BBC Blog and thank you in advance for your further response.

  • Comment number 42.

    Have you read this:

    Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, revealed that the rights package agreed from next season for Formula One was a done deal within 48 hours of the first phone call.

    ‘It was presented to us in the summer. We had a very short time span to get involved and we showed great agility to move and secure those rights. It was all done in a couple of days,’ he told his audience.

    This is really shocking, and looks like a complete seel out of the BBC
    source

  • Comment number 43.

    "We believe the new deal represents the best possible value for all Licence Fee Payers in a very difficult financial climate."

    So in difficult financial times we are asked to pay £40 a month extra to watch all F1 races live when there were other free-to-air channels available and interested in the rights. Hardly sounds really like "the best possible value for all Licence Fee Payers"

    Some interesting information regarding projected viewing figures next year and why BBC were so keen on teaming up with Sky rather than another free-to-air channel. http://www.f1revs.com/2011/11/bbcsky-f1-deal-viewing-figures.html

  • Comment number 44.

    From pitpass, "...........the British Broadcaster, in its attempt to hang on to Wimbledon and the Six Nations, is understood to have bid an astonishing £300m for a deal lasting up to 2017..............."

    So we all know where our licence fee tax money is going now, though no thanks to the BBC who have tried to keep the sums hidden.

    Truly an appalling state of affairs that they themselves have created, and a failure of the trust invested in the BBC by the public. DQF presents as a sham and it is regrettable that Caroline Thompson and others are still seeking to defend it.

    With the BBC abandoning its primary role as a public service it is difficult to see any argument for the organisation's continued existence...............

  • Comment number 45.

    No F1, No liciense fee!

  • Comment number 46.

    @40 Dear Ms. Thomson,

    True to BBC exec form, no reply to @41 BBCnowBSB in over 2 months... though it took a while for #40 post to come along didn't it, maybe I'll check back in another 5 months...

 

About this blog

Senior staff and experts from across the organisation use this blog to talk about what's happening inside the BBC. We also highlight and link to some of the debates happening on other blogs and online spaces inside and outside the corporation.

Here are some tips for taking part.

This blog is edited by Jon Jacob.

Subscribe to this blog

You can stay up to date with About the BBC via these feeds.

If you aren't sure what RSS is you'll find our beginner's guide to RSS useful.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Follow this blog

Other BBC blogs

More from this blog...

Categories

These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.