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BBC looks to slash spending on imported programming

The BBC is considering a drastic reduction in its spending on imported shows, according to a report on the direction of the UK public broadcaster leaked to British press.

The British public broadcaster is looking at cost-savings in key areas and acquired programming from the US is one of the places it wants to cut spending.

The strategic review, which has been presented to the BBC Trust, which oversees the activities of the broadcaster, proposes cutting spending on imports by a third.

Market watchers have interpreted the findings of the BBC’s report as a premptive strike ahead of a UK general election this year. The opposition party the Conservatives is leading the polls and has publicly criticised the BBC’s spending on foreign imported programmes, which it estimates at £100 million a year.

In recent times the BBC has bought Lionsgate-distributed series Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, all five seasons HBO’s The Wire, NBC Universal’s Heroes, Sony’s The Tudors and Fox’s animated series Family Guy.