The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.
Delays to a new licence fee regime for people over 75 and problems collecting fees are among the challenges cited.
Staff have been told the BBC will have to find £125m savings this year.
Senior leaders will take a pay freeze until August 2021 and all non-essential recruitment will be put on hold as part of the cost-cutting measures.
Staff will also be invited to work part time or take unpaid leave if they find it “helpful” during the lockdown.
In a briefing on Wednesday, director general Tony Hall said other reasons behind the cash shortfall were a delay to a plan to cut 450 jobs, and uncertainty around commercial revenues.
Other broadcasters have been badly hit during the crisis, with ITV last month cutting its programme budget by £100m and Channel 4 cutting £150m from its programming.
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On Wednesday, Channel 4’s director of programmes Ian Katz said the broadcaster would have to cut back on drama and produce “lower tariff” shows.
“In the next few months I don’t think we will see any new dramas getting up and running,” he said.