Poor and old people among those who are less satisfied with the BBC, according to Ofcom, as BBC accused of chasing younger users.
Regulator Ofcom has launched a review to examine why the BBC struggles to meet the needs of some audiences.
Since taking on regulation of the BBC, it’s become particularly concerned that audiences in what are traditionally called D and E groups continue to be less satisfied.
People from D and E groups are often referred to as having lower socio economic status or being from working class backgrounds. They are more likely to be older, unemployed, have a disability or be retired with only a state pension. These groups are highly diverse and make up almost a quarter of the UK population.
What might have triggered dissatisfaction with the BBC?
- Research has shown that the working class, retired and disabled are more likely to be unsatisfied with the BBC.
- It follows recent changes at the BBC, which has seen BBC Radio 2 accused of abandoning older listeners with old favourites including Steve Wright and Ken Bruce leaving their shows. BBC Local Radio is also on the verge of dropping local programmes popular with older listeners.
- Ofcom says while many consume less broadcast TV and radio, the audiences in the groups it is examining are among those who still “remain more reliant on traditional services.”
- After the BBC was previously criticised for not paying attention to poorer working class households who don’t use the internet as much, it brought back BBC Three as a linear channel.
Ofcom says this review will use a variety of research and analytic techniques to delve deeper into their attitudes and habits, to investigate what content appeals to these audiences to further understand their relationship with the BBC and its services.
As well as speaking to audiences, we will engage with industry and other interested parties throughout the period of our review.
The findings will flow into the regulator’s next annual report on the BBC, due this autumn.