In a column for the Daily Telegraph, Gary Davey countered last Thursday’s speech by BBC director-general Tony Hall that predicted a £500 million deficit in original UK content spend.
“The only conclusion one can draw from this prediction is that the BBC is preparing the ground to ask for even greater protection from competition, and new handouts,” wrote Davey.
“We believe competition is good. It always has been. You can see that in the world-class storytelling that British creatives continue to produce. Viewers love gripping UK productions like Peaky Blinders, but shows like Game of Thrones from HBO, Walking Dead from AMC, The Crown from Netflix and American Gods on Amazon have been added into that mix now too. The amount of great content we have at our fingertips is mind-blowing.”
Davey pointed to a recent public service broadcasting report from Ofcom, which found first run content from PSBs to below what it was a decade ago, as opposed to the pay-TV companies that were upping their investment. He called on the BBC to reset its priorities and work with new partners.
“There is no reason why Sky couldn’t co-produce shows with PSBs here in the UK. We already work with Amazon, and Britannia, the show we’re producing together, will offer everything that’s great about British television – British actors, script, story, and that unique British grit you just can’t copy.”
In Germany, Sky has just finished producing Babylon Berlin with public broadcaster ARD.