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BBC defends quality of output over UK government report

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BBC defends quality of output over UK government report

The BritishBroadcasting Corp. has defended the quality of its shows, even asit slammed a U.K. governmentreport into the broadcaster's commercial impact, The Guardian (London) reported May 4.

A leaked BBC document reportedly said that the March report,prepared by management consultants Oliver and Ohlbaum for the Department forCulture, Media and Sport, would not be a reliable basis for making decisionsabout the BBC's future. It cited the report's "flawed" analysis and "questionable"assumptions about the relationship between market impact and audience needs.

Details of the BBC document emerged days after reports thatthe government is planning to conduct checks on the quality of BBC TV and radioprograms.

The white paper on the BBC's future, to be May 12, is expected topropose measures such as a crackdown on primetime scheduling, reducing the BBC'sairtime for program promotion and a programming review by 2022, The Daily Telegraph (London) reportedApril 30.

In exchange, the government will guarantee the publicbroadcaster's future until 2028 under a new charter.

The government reportedly justified the measures by citingcompetition with Netflix Inc.and other new internet TV and film service providers.

In an official May 1 statement, Shadow Culture MinisterMaria Eagle criticized the government proposals as "a completelyunacceptable interference" in the BBC's independence.