Re: I wonder who that could be?
Broadcasters lowering bitrates is not always the issue it is made out to be.
The BBC were accused of this, but they were simply using an encoder tuned for a particular Constant Rate Factor (CRF), which attempts to encode at a particular quality level, not a particular bitrate. The encoder was replaced, and similar scenes were encoded much more efficiently with the new encoder, which reduced the required bit rate for a particular quality factor. The new stream had a lower bitrate (9Mb/s) than the old stream (17Mb/s), but (allegedly¹) the same quality.
Course, its not always like this. ITV are notorious for cramming in their channels in to any bandwidth (I know its MPEG-2, but look at ITV-4 on Freeview, the bitrate is so low you can almost see artefacts on every frame).
¹ Lots of people disagreed, there was lots of arguing, eventually the encoders were replaced again, this time with VBR encoders that used, on average, 9 Mb/s, but could be bursty in high action segments and use up to 17 Mb/s briefly.