Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Minutes of Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum submitted by the BBC


  The BBC currently provides opt-out national and regional programming on three of its public service channels—BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Choice.

  At present, digital satellite viewers have access to the following versions of these services:

    —  BBC One: the version appropriate to their own nation—ie including programming for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

    —  BBC Two: a UK-wide version, with no opt-outs.

    —  BBC Choice: four different versions (a UK version with opt-outs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), each accessible everywhere in the UK (so viewers in England can choose to watch programming for Scotland, for example).

  In addition, by switching back to analogue reception, viewers can also receive:

    —  (in England) the relevant English regional version of BBC One.

    —  the relevant national/regional version of BBC Two.

  As part of the BBC's plans to substantially increase investment in programming and services for the nations, and against the background of the BBC's proposal (currently under consideration by the Secretary of State) to replace BBC Choice with BBC Three, it is planned to change the balance of national programming between the different public services and consequently to change the pattern of distribution of the different versions throughout the UK. The BBC intends that by the close of this year, digital satellite viewers will be able to receive the relevant national version of both BBC One and BBC Two, and so have access both to all the current national programming and to all the additional programming which the new investment will make possible.

February 2001

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