In an interview with Deadline, Sir David Attenborough commented on the need for change at BBC. He agrees that with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, the competition is steep for viewership and talent.
Sir Attenborough is considered a national treasure in the UK. In 2008 the British Library and The Sunday Telegraph held a poll where he was voted, along with Lady Thatcher, Sir Richard Branson, and Dame Judi Dench, a National Treasure. Sir Attenborough’s career started in 1952 when he first joined the BBC. His interest in natural history has led him to create numerous documentaries for the BBC, such as Life on Earth, The First Eden, and Wildlife on One. Sir Attenborough was the controller of BBC 2 in 1965 and went on to be the director of programs of both BBC channels in 1969.
During an interview before the Seven Worlds, One Planet premiere on October 7, Sir Attenborough said, “Streaming has transformed the market place, and for any broadcaster to survive, it’s going to have to reflect that. That may mean, particularly when you’ve been as good at it as the BBC has been, that they have to change the game in order to keep up with things.”
In his interview with Deadline on Friday, he said, “he is heartened to see management being proactive.” Earlier this month, the BBC hosted a party for writers, producers, and talent. Charlotte Moore, BBC Content Chief, called on the guest to “bring their best work to the BBC” and “they will be rewarded with a big platform, risk-taking and unrivaled creative freedom.”
The BBC recently lost Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleebag) to an overall deal with Amazon and Peter Morgan (The Crown) to Netflix. With new streaming services like Disney +, HBO Max, and Quibi, talent is being snapped up in major overall deals. Moore commented on this saying, “we don’t want to own you” and “you get to own your program and your IP.”
Currently, the BBC is trying to revive iPlayer and grow its streaming capabilities. Readers can watch BBC hit shows like Luther, Peaky Blinders, and Killing Eve on their streaming site.