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BBC Boss To Warn “British Storytelling At Risk Of Being Squeezed Out” While “U.S. & Chinese Algorithms” Could Be “Taste-Makers Of The Future”

“British storytelling is at growing risk of being squeezed out in an extraordinarily competitive global media landscape,” the BBC Director General will warn in a landmark speech tomorrow that will set out how to “radically transform and renew” the 100-year-old corporation.

Tim Davie plans to say “we are in danger of the UK’s world-class creative industries being undermined, and diminishing our unique cultural identity and its remarkable influence worldwide,” in the Tuesday set piece that was revealed by Deadline last week.

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Davie’s proclamation will come just a few days after The Crown EP Andy Harries warned that the UK is at risk of becoming a Hollywood “service industry” unless local storytelling is protected.

In notes briefed to the press before the speech, Davie also plans to raise concerns that “U.S. and Chinese algorithms” could be the “potential taste-makers of the future.”

He plans to say “polarisation and social division are being fuelled by the fragmentation of media consumption among global platforms,” and will float that shared moments and unifying cultural experiences are increasingly rare.

Davie will sit down in London on Tuesday morning for the speech and Q&A arguing that “the BBC can and must be part of the solution to national challenges” such as AI and rapid technological change.

He will float three ways to “radically transform and renew”: Integrating the BBC’s online services, investing in high-impact content from across the UK and boosting commercial income including establishing new partnerships.

More detail is incoming on each in the set piece. Davie has touched on all in the past, floating in a 2022 speech that the corporation would eventually “consolidate activity under one simple, single brand,” discussing the high-impact content strand as part of the BBC’s ‘fewer, bigger, better’ strategy and frequently stressing the need for more commercial income to offset declining license fee income and soaring inflation. BBC Studios recently bought ITV out of streamer BritBox International for £255M ($322M), its most expensive deal of all time.

“These steps will help secure the future of the BBC, but more importantly, the vital role that a BBC can play for the UK at home and abroad in the years ahead,” Davie will conclude tomorrow.

After delivering the set piece, Davie will “hold sessions with each division to look at what this means for everyone in more detail and what we need to prioritise as we set goals for the year ahead.”

The speech will come in the days before the BBC’s Annual Plan, which sets out spending priorities for the coming year.

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