How Netflix Is Hurting British TV, According To BBC Exec

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock

It is not really much of a secret that the boom of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon has had a transformative impact on Hollywood. The last couple of years alone have seen some massive changes made in the world of film and television brought on by the existence of these platforms. It turns out that Netflix's success has placed native British content produced by the BBC and others in jeopardy as well. About the perceived threat across the pond, BBC director general Tony Hall said:

We have to face the reality that the British content we value and rely upon is under serious threat. . . . The reality is that [new TV outlets'] investment decisions are likely to focus increasingly on a narrow range of very expensive, very high-end content -- big bankers that they can rely on to have international appeal and attract large, global audiences. Even the most generous calculations suggest they are barely likely to make up half of the £500m British content gap over the decade ahead. And a more realistic forecast points to substantially less.

Tony Hall gave those remarks (via The Guardian) recently during a speech warning about the potentially dire changes taking place in the world of home-grown British television. In the simplest of terms, while a streaming service like Netflix is spending money to make an incredibly expensive show like The Crown in England, overall spending on traditional British favorites like Britain's Got Talent has gone down, primarily due to reduced advertising income. As a result, money spent on British television could drop by a staggering £500 million annually over the next decade, with Netflix's "narrow range" success not leading to more investments in the English markets.

The ramifications of this sharp decline could be huge for otherwise well-known British content providers like the BBC. Not only will the number of shows go down as spending goes down, but the quality and boldness of those shows could dip as well. As streaming services look to develop international hits that reach global audiences, more localized content creators will find it harder and harder to make an impact on the overall television landscape. One of the significant consequences of this development is that, as British content slowly but surely begins to diminish, audiences in England could find themselves watching increasingly more imported American content.

We will keep you posted with any and all relevant updates related to Netflix's impact on the British television market as new information becomes available to us. For now, you can check out our fall TV premiere guide to get a better look at everything still to come this season (Netflix or otherwise), and you can also listen to The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear anything and everything that we here at CinemaBlend have to say about the world of streaming content!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.