BBC One is the BBC’s single most important service. This may seem like a statement of the obvious but sometimes these things need to be said.
It is the corporation’s most expensive service and the one which attracts the most viewers – some of whom do not use any other BBC service. So getting BBC One right is vital for the whole corporation.
The nadir of 1984 – a year of flops and low ratings – left the corporation exposed to its ideologically-driven critics.
Similarly the Eldorado debacle in 1992 would have caused lasting damage had John Birt and Alan Yentob not taken steps to put the channel on a quality drive.
Getting the mix right is difficult – too popular can seem too commercial but if the ratings are too low there are difficult questions too.
Inevitably, the branding of the channel must also matter to the corporation as a whole. How many people may see BBC One’s identity as that of the BBC itself Almost the corporation’s masterbrand.
Anecdotally, there are viewers who thought of the globe as the BBC’s symbol rather than BBC One’s.
So if the branding of BBC One is misjudged there is a risk of corporate damage.
With BBC One, it’s no bad thing if people at the most senior level take an interest in the channel’s identity and branding. Better to wait and get it right than get it wrong.
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