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BBC 'may cut overnight programming'

The BBC could cut back on its overnight programming in a bid to save money.

The move, which would affect the schedule between 10.35pm and 6am, is one of the ideas suggested by the corporation's staff in an internal review.

Director-general Mark Thompson said the BBC is looking to see if there is a case for investing less in off-peak programming and more on peak-time shows.

Asked if overnight programming - which the BBC currently spends £150 million on a year - could disappear altogether, he said: "Obviously that's one theoretical possibility, or you might do something else, you might put something else on."

He added: "In a sense, it's more of a question it seems to me of how much money, how much of the licence fee, should you direct to this part of the schedule given the people available to view?

"Why is the money where it is? Is there a way of filling this part of the schedule for less money?"

The BBC committed itself to saving billions of pounds from its budget when it launched the process, called Putting Quality First, last year.

Other ideas, which the BBC described as "common emerging themes" from the process include repeating its popular shows like the drama South Riding on different channels in the same week.

Mr Thompson said he had not made any judgments yet on the responses to what he described as a "set of open questions" and admitted some of the ideas would not "fly".

But he said it is "unlikely" there would be proposals for the complete closure of services.


From Belfast Telegraph