BBC hires Bain & Company for strategy review

14 September 2022 2 min. read

Strategy giant Bain & Company has been handed a key strategic review by the BBC, as the Corporation prepares for life after the licence fee. Bain’s consultants will now work to draw up a plan to secure the national broadcaster’s future.

Earlier in the summer, Bain & Company was handed a three-year ban on bidding for Cabinet Office contracts, due to its alleged role in the SARS scandal in South Africa. While Bain is appealing the ban, however, it has not stopped it from landing a major new contract with Britain’s state broadcaster.

As reported by Sky News, a contract for the MBB strategy firm to work for the BBC was signed off on before the ban was put in place. As a result, Bain will now commence a wide-ranging review of the broadcaster’s structure, as it looks to safeguard its future.

BBC hires Bain & Company for strategy review

The BBC has been the subject of repeated threats from now-former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took issue with the Corporation’s funding. The Beeb is largely financed by annual television licensing fees, which are paid by those who own TV sets or watch live television transmissions on such devices as computers – helping it to offer five radio networks in Britain, and four national television channels.

That looked to be coming to an end, though, when Nadine Dorries – Johnson's Culture Secretary – branded the licence fee as "completely outdated", before suggesting the government would review the future funding options for the public service broadcaster. While Dorries was replaced in the first cabinet of new Prime Minister Liz Truss, her role has been filled by Michelle Donelan – a former WWE Marketing Manager, who was Boris Johnson’s Education Secretary for just 48 hours. Donelan has previously also called for the licence fee to be scrapped, suggesting the government will likely push ahead with the Johnson-era agenda of abolishing it.

As the BBC looks to prepare for the worst case scenario, Bain’s professionals will draw up a blue-print for its future strategy. Sources told Sky News they expected that would include a contribution to the debate about the BBC's future funding. The fee the firm will earn has not been made public – but should that be a large amount, it might prompt anger from staff who are already facing job cuts as the BBC commits an ongoing round of cuts.

Earlier in the year, Director General Tim Davie announced 1,000 jobs will be slashed across the public-funded part of the corporation. BBC World News and BBC News Channel would merge to create a single 24-hour TV news channel serving both UK and international audiences, while regional TV news programmes in Oxford and Cambridge were set to be scrapped – merging with the BBC’s Southampton and Norwich operations. And BBC Four and CBBC are also expected to move online to the iPlayer, while Radio 4 Extra could become available on the BBC Sounds service only.