The UK’s media watchdog Ofcom has warned the BBC that it is losing its core audience of older viewers, the report coming after the broadcaster has actively sought to attract younger viewers and prioritise diversity.
Ofcom’s report found that the proportion of over-55s that have a positive view of the BBC, which is funded through a mandatory television tax called the TV Licence, had fallen from 64 to 62 per cent in two years. The media regulator said in its annual report that “reach is decreasing among these loyal groups, and older audiences, in particular, are starting to show signs of decreasing satisfaction.”
The figures also revealed a drop in viewership or confidence amongst 16- to 35-year-olds, ethnic minorities, the middle classes, the working classes, and women, according to The Times, suggesting that not only is it losing core audiences, but failing to increase its share of amongst the youth and BAME communities that it is eagerly seeking to attract.
In recent years, the broadcaster has been chasing the youth audience after Ofcom warned in 2019 that unless it appealed to more younger people, in decades the TV licence would be unsustainable and unjustifiable. In September, it was revealed that TV Licence-paying households had collapsed by more than one-quarter of a million in just one year.
Analysis by The Times says that the BBC’s “relentless pursuit of youth” is coming at the cost of providing content for its most reliable audiences.
Likewise, a rabid obsession with appeasing adherents of progressive critical race theory dogma under the guise of increasing ‘diversity’ may also be contributing to Britons switching off.
In one woke assault on a favourite programme of core audiences, Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison claimed in October that “the countryside is racist”, following the broadcaster publishing a tweet that promoted the claim that ethnic minorities found the British countryside to be an exclusively “white environment”.
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After months of violent and destructive demonstrations from the Marxist Black Lives Matter group protesters, the BBC vowed in August to make diversity its “absolute priority”. Two months before, it pledged to pour £100 million into “diverse and inclusive content”, with the then-Director-General Lord Hall of Birkenhead referencing the death of American George Floyd, which sparked the recent BLM protests, as the motivation for the massive spend. Days later, the BBC announced hundreds of job cuts in regional programming.
However, woke grandstanding was at its zenith in August when the BBC was considering scrapping the patriotic “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory” from the Last Night of the Proms — staple viewing for many Britons.
The move was reportedly in response to pressure from Black Lives Matter activists at the broadcaster, with the BBC’s producer for the religious Songs of Praise programme, Cat Lewis, comparing patriots singing “Rule, Britannia!” to neo-Nazis singing about gas chambers. The broadcaster was forced to backtrack on its decision after massive public backlash.
While the favourites of older generations are facing an assault from woke BBC editors, so too are children’s shows. The BBC has recently pushed the concept of “white privilege” during its Bitesize news programme aimed at school children. While reruns of the pre-school show Brum, about a toy car that has adventures, was branded with trigger warnings, reading: “This series was originally aired in the 90s and 00s and may reflect the language and attitude of the time.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 21, 2020
The Ofcom study also exposed that fewer than half of working-class people, 48 per cent, said they felt the broadcaster produced content that reflected people like them. The report also revealed a class divide in the opinion of the broadcaster’s news coverage, with working-class viewers more likely to say the BBC is politically biased, compared to higher earners, reinforcing criticisms from within the government that the broadcaster serves only the metropolitan liberal elites.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 15, 2020