The BBC’s chief content officer says the power the company has to reach millions is “far greater” than people think, in direct comparison to Netflix.
Charlotte Moore, 53, also said the company has much more “factual programming” than the streaming giant.
Speaking of the BBC, Ms Moore told the Radio Times: ‘I think we need to make sure she is indispensable, or should be indispensable, because of the distinctive British stories she tells. Because of the best journalism in the UK. Because it’s trying to be relevant for a UK audience.
“Only 3% of viewing on Netflix is factual programming. It’s much smaller.
“We know that the public really wants to understand and know the world.
“In its first 30 days, 12 million people watched The Tourist (on the BBC), twice as many as the biggest show, Stay Close, on Netflix.
“The power the BBC has to reach millions of people is far greater than we may realize.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries previously announced that BBC licensing fees would be frozen for the next two years and said she wanted to find a new funding model for the broadcaster after the expiry of the license fee financing agreement in 2027.
Questions about how the BBC should be funded and how it should adapt will be explored in an inquiry by the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee.
Ms Moore said: “I really think the BBC is proving itself right now. I think we did during Covid-19.
“There are those times when there is a real feeling that we have never needed a public service broadcaster more, to inform, educate, entertain and bring the nation together.”
The broadcaster recently brought BBC Three back to TV screens as a linear channel after ceasing operations in 2016 and was replaced by an online-only version on iPlayer.
Speaking about the company’s attempt to retain younger audiences, Ms Moore added: ‘It’s really up to us to make sure we’re relevant to their lives, which is why we’ve increased our spending on BBC Three.
“We have put BBC Three back on a broadcast channel because we recognize that there is still a percentage of people in this country who don’t have broadband.
“It’s a good start, but we still have a long way to go.
“We are a universal broadcaster. Making sure we have something for everyone is really important. It’s part of our DNA.
“It’s really important that we serve our audience who have loved us for many years, but it’s really important that we create the next generation of people who can love and appreciate the BBC.”
Ms Moore said the recent departures of Andrew Marr, Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis from the BBC provide a “great opportunity for the next generation”.
She also revealed that four hit BBC dramas are returning for a second series, including Martin Freeman’s The Responder and Suranne Jones in Vigil.
Jamie Dornan in The Tourist and Time have also been renewed, she said.