BBC accuses British government of using ITV's criticisms against it

Popular shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and Sherlock could be under threat...

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has hit back at a UK government report into its market impact that criticised the commercial appeal of its output.

In a leaked document, the corporation called out the report for using "flawed" analysis and making "questionable" assumptions.

The Beeb also argues that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DMOS) report is merely a rehash of the views of ITV and its rivals, stating:

"Much of the report's analysis seems to restate evidence included in ITV's and commercial radio's submissions to the charter review consultation".

The DCMS report from management consultants Oliver & Ohlbaum was particularly damning of BBC1's output, saying that it had become "less innovative and less risk-taking".

Following its March publication, British culture secretary John Whittingdale called for the BBC to be "more distinctive".

Whittingdale is set to draft measures in the coming weeks that would restrict the BBC from competing with commercial rivals, as part of a BBC charter review that should safeguard the service for the next 11 years.

This could mean popular programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Sherlock would be forced out of their primetime weekend slots.

The leaked document voices concerns within the BBC that it would fail as a universal service if these new measures came to pass, and that its weekly reach would drop from 97% to under 90%, which would not make a "a sensible basis for policy decisions about the future of the BBC".

Talking about the charter, Whittingdale joked:

"If we don’t renew it, it may be that the BBC will cease to exist, which is maybe occasionally a tempting prospect".

The comment raised the ire of Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter today...