The TV times, they are a’changing.
While many viewers have shirked sitting down to watch live broadcasts of episodes in favour of binge-watching series on streaming sites, the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall has spoken out today about how the rise of the big streaming giants just means that the BBC has a more important role in broadcasting than ever before.
Speaking to Graham Norton on his Radio 2 show, which came to us live from Lisbon today (May 12) as the host gears up for tonight’s Eurovision 2018 final, Hall stressed the role that the BBC has in the UK and around the world.
“We’ve all got a choice now of whatever you want on Netflix and Amazon and so on and so on – and we need to work with them and we are doing,” he began, referring to programmes like Troy: Fall of a City or Good Omens, which were jointly produced by Netflix and Amazon respectively.
“But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need the BBC. You need the BBC for news, you need the BBC for the dramas and the comedies and things that others will not do. I mean, UK production, UK talent, that’s what we stand for.
“I feel that, although they have lots and lots of money, and we are kind of the David to their Goliaths, in a way, I feel very strongly that there’s an even more important role for the BBC and public broadcasters going forward than there was even a decade ago.”
Hall went on to cite the incredible Blue Planet II as a prime example of the power that BBC can hold.
After the Sir David Attenborough-led programme highlighted the massive issue of plastics in the oceans last year, steps were made to cut back on plastic production on a national scale, including McDonald’s swapping plastic straws for papers ones and Glastonbury Festival banning plastic bottles.
“By bringing people round that, it is extraordinary numbers, actually makes a difference in the way we now regard plastics,” he added. “That’s the power of a BBC, or a broadcaster that can reach millions in that sort of way.”
Graham Norton is in Lisbon ahead of tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest grand final, which starts coverage from 8pm on BBC One.
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