Annex A: Comparison of the Trust,
Burns and the Committee's proposed models for oversight of the
|Under Trust model:
||Under Burns panel's proposal:
||Under Committee proposal:
||Oversight body inside BBC.
||External to BBC.||Same as Burns' recommendation.
|BBC Trust is the BBC's sovereign body.
||Unitary BBC Board with non-executive Chair - separate external public-interest oversight and regulation i.e. by a new Public Service Broadcasting Commission (PSBC) and Ofcom.
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
||Chairman of the Trust appointed by the Government following Cabinet Office public appointment process and now subject to a pre-appointment hearing by Culture, Media and Sport Committee
||Government would have appointed Chair of PSBC and other commissioners following best practice public appointment rules.
||Same as Burns' recommendation. The Government's preferred candidate for Chair of PSBC subject to a parliamentary pre-appointment hearing.
|Chair of the Executive Board appointed by the Trust.
||Chair of BBC Board would have been appointed by Government following accepted best practice.
||Same as Burns' recommendation. The Government's preferred candidate subject to a parliamentary pre-appointment hearing.
|Chair of the Executive Board can be appointed in an executive or a non-executive capacity (but so far always the former and the director general).
||Non-executive Chair of unitary BBC Board would have been known as BBC Chairman.
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
||BBC Executive has majority of executive members.
||Non-executives would have been in majority on unitary BBC Board.
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
|Trust sets the overall strategic direction for the BBC within the framework set by the Charter and Framework Agreement following proposals made by the BBC Executive.
||PSBC would have subjected the BBC's strategic plan, prepared by the BBC Board, to open and transparent scrutiny. Plan would have included broad objectives of television and radio channels, online and other services, broad allocation of expenditure by service, audiences and genre.
||The PSBC would neither formulate nor have to approve the overall strategy for the BBC, but would scrutinise and make recommendations.
|Trust approves high-level strategy and budgets in respect of the BBC's services.
||PSBC would have approved or rejected high-level strategic plan and budgets in respect of the BBC's services.
||PSBC would scrutinise and make recommendations about BBC Board's proposals.
|Trust defines suitable performance criteria and measures against which the effective promotion of the Public Purposes are judged.
||PSBC would have defined suitable performance criteria and measures against which the effective promotion of the Public Purposes would be judged.
||Same as Burns.|
|Trust assesses the performance of the Executive Board in delivering the BBC's services and activities and holds the Executive to account for its performance.
||PSBC would have assessed performance of unitary board and held it to account.
||Same as Burns. PSBC to possess power to recommend ultimate funding sanctions.
||Trust sets multi-year purpose remits, and approves strategies which include high-level budgetary allocations.
||PSBC would have had a similar role to the Trust.
||BBC Board would set remits and budgets, PSBC would scrutinise them and make recommendations.
|Service licences/ service reviews
||Trust issues service licences for BBC services and monitors compliance with them
||PSBC would have adopted the Trust's routine of service licence and periodic service reviews.
||PSBC to review and report on BBC service licences, but final approval made by BBC Board. PSBC to possess threat of recommending funding sanctions.
|Public value tests (PVTs)
||Trust carries out public value tests and decides on whether the BBC may introduce new services or close existing ones. Ofcom carries out market impact assessments.
||PSBC same as Trust. Ofcom's role unchanged.
||PSBC to carry out public value tests of BBC services and review proposals for new services and closures. Also able to initiate PVTs on existing services. Expectation on BBC Board to adhere to PSBC's findings, backed up by threat of recommending funding sanctions.
|Trust approves individual strategic or financial proposals where they stand to have significant implications for the fulfilment of the purpose remits.
||Not specified. ||Scrutiny role but no formal approval role
|Trust, where appropriate, conducts investigations into any activity of the BBC which it has grounds to suspect does not comply with requirements supervised by the Trust.
||Broadly PSBC same as Trust.
||Conduct investigations into any activity of the BBC which causes concern.
|Value for money
||Commissions value-for-money investigations into specific areas of BBC activity. NAO conducts value for money investigations by agreement with the BBC Trust.
||Broadly PSBC same as Trust.
||In conjunction with an NAO having unfettered access to the BBC (but not commenting on editorial decision-making), PSBC assesses value-for-money of the BBC and its services.
|Trust acts as guardian of the licence fee and the public interest in the BBC and delivers ongoing programme of public consultations and engagement.
||PSBC would have represented the public interest on all BBC activities and public funding in broadcasting and delivered ongoing programme of public consultation and engagement.
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
||Ofcom responsible for regulation of competition, economic, spectrum and pan-broadcasting issues.
||Same as existing arrangement.
||Same as existing arrangement.
|Final arbiter of complaints regarding content over matters of impartiality and accuracy.
||PSBC final arbiter of complaints regarding content over matters of impartiality and accuracy.
||Ofcom final arbiter of complaints regarding BBC content including over matters of impartiality and accuracy.
||Trust secures the independence of the BBC.
||PSBC same as Trust.
||PSBC would help secure the BBC's independence but it would principally fall to the Chairman of the BBC to defend and champion the BBC's position.
|Level of licence fee
||No role. ||PSBC would have recommended to Government and Parliament the overall level of the licence fee and any other funding needed to support the BBC.
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
||No role.||PSBC would have judged the allocation of the licence fee between the BBC and other broadcasters and ensured a degree of plurality in supply of certain areas of PSB content
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
||Not applicable.||PSBC to possess potential backstop power to withhold some of the licence fee from the BBC
||Same as Burns' recommendation.
Annex B: Terms of reference for the inquiry
into the Future of the BBC
Released by press notice on 22 October 2014
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is holding
an inquiry into the BBC ahead of its current Royal Charter ending
in December 2016. The Royal Charter is the constitutional basis
for the BBC. It sets out the public purposes of the BBC, guarantees
its independence, and outlines the duties of the Trust and the
Executive Board. It is supplemented by an Agreement with the Secretary
of State that sits alongside the Charter, which provides detail
on many of the topics outlined in the Charter and also covers
the BBC's funding and its regulatory duties.
Since the last Charter renewal in 2006, the communications
and media environment has evolved significantly, with an abundance
of content, platforms and services accessed by an increasing number
of people. Yet the popularity of traditional television and radio
services remains strong. The Committee will consider the BBC beyond
2016 and invites written submissions on any of the following questions:
should the BBC be for and what should be the purpose of public
well has the BBC performed in the current Charter period in achieving
its mission and public purposes?
Are the public purposes in the current Charter the
right ones? How might they change?
scope, scale and remit should the BBC have?
Should the BBC's output and services be provided
to any greater or lesser degree for particular audiences?
balance should be struck in what the BBC produces in-house, commissions
externally and leaves entirely to others to create?
have the BBC's commercial activities during the current Charter
fitted with the BBC's public purposes and have they achieved an
adequate return for licence fee payers? What should be the aims,
scope and scale of such activities beyond 2016?
role should the BBC play in developing technology and new ways
of distributing content?
should the BBC be funded beyond 2016?
Is there a case for distributing funding for public
service content more widely beyond the BBC?
comparisons can be made with the provision of public service content
in other countries?
should the BBC be governed, regulated and held accountable beyond
In a constantly evolving communications environment,
does a 10-year Royal Charter and Agreement with the Secretary
of State, together, provide the most appropriate constitutional
framework for the BBC?
Annex C: Visit to the Netherlands,
Germany and Denmark - comparative visit looking at public service
Monday 12 May programme in The Hague
General briefing with Sir Geoffrey Adams KCMG, HM
Ambassador at British Embassy
Meeting with the Council for Culture to discuss future
of PSB in the Netherlands
Meeting with the Ministry of Education Culture &
Tuesday 13 Mayprogramme in Hilversum
Meeting with the Dutch Media Authority (Commissariaat
voor de Media)
Meeting with Netherlands Public Broadcaster (NPO)
Meeting with NL Broadcasters Council (College van
Meeting with VPRO and KRO/NCRV (two Dutch broadcaster
Meeting with RTL
Wednesday 14 May programme in Mainz
Meetings with ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen)
Working lunch with:
Dieter Dörr, Professor of Media Law, Johannes-Gutenberg-University,
Franz Rothlauf, Professor of Information Systems, Johannes-Gutenberg-University,
Peter Widlok, Spokesperson for the Association of German Media
Roessner, Member of Parliament and Member of the Committee for
Media and Cultural Affairs; and
Grewenig, Director Association of Commercial Broadcasters (VPRT).
Meeting with Michael Hanfeld, Media Editor at the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Thursday 15 Mayprogramme in Copenhagen
Meeting with the Danish Press Council (Pressenævnet)
Meeting with the Danish Journalist Association
Meetings with TV2
Meetings with Danish Radio
Meeting with the Ministry of Culture
End of programme
Annex D: Online consultation:
Students' views about the BBC and television
During the inquiry into the Future of the BBC the
Committee decided to hold a short web consultation targeted at
young people to canvass opinions on the BBC and on viewing and
listening habits more generally. A three-week consultation was
hosted on The Student Room (TSR) website, an online forum for
students, just before the start of the new college year in September.
TSR is open to people at any stage of education, although the
majority of its members fall within the 14 to 24 age range.
The e-consultation was promoted on the Committee's
own website, as well as on the Student Room's site, and included
an introductory video by the Chair of the Committee setting out
the inquiry and inviting students to participate through sharing
their views and voting in polls.
Students were asked to respond to the following questions:
do you prefer to watch television and listen to the radio?
do you think the BBC should be paid for?
the BBC appeal to you? What is your "go to" television?
How does the BBC's content aimed at young people compare with
the choice that is available elsewhere?
you miss BBC programmes and content if they were no longer there?
What would you miss?
should pay for the BBC?
BBC has plans to make some of its content aimed at younger people
available only on iPlayer. What do you think about that?
In total there were over 500 comments posted by 224
respondents. In one of the polls on viewing preferences over 600
votes were cast although not all of those who voted left comments.
Below is a summary of the points made in response
to the questions asked and also a selection of some of the posts
How do you prefer to watch TV and listen to the
majority of respondents to this question cited catch-up services
as their preferred method of viewing television content. Many
mentioned that they view programmes via the BBC iPlayer and 4oD.
Sky Go was also a popular service, particularly due to its wide
range of films.
disliked the number of adverts that appeared on some on-demand
addition to broadcasters' catch-up sites, other popular services
for viewing TV-like content were Netflix and YouTube.
general preference was for sport to be watched livein particular
football matches. Some respondents stated that watching sport
was the only time that they viewed live TV.
was a limited response on radio preferences: many stating that
they rarely listened to radio, and if they did, it was whilst
travelling by car.
few respondents admitted that they streamed television programmes
and films via illegal sites such as Pirate Bay.
respondents did not own a television, but either used a laptop
or tablet for viewing TV-content. As such, catch-up TV (particularly
iPlayer) and Netflix were preferred as they were easier to access
and aimed at those who watched online.
"I think TV has fallen by the wayside and we
are now entering a new era of on-demand content."
"I use both Netflix and YouTube on my TV. To
be honest with you, I rarely watch "TV on the TV" (i.e.
channels), I mean, in this day and age where you can access the
internet at your fingertips I find the channels slightly boring."
"The broadband around my area is the equivalent
of dial-up in terms of speed and cannot cope with video streaming,
although fibre is available. The BBC will be cutting off young
people who either a) parents cannot afford internet or fast internet
b) areas that have a poor internet connection c) those people
who are experiencing lengthy periods of disconnection."
"I try to watch scheduled TV. That's because
I love to watch it on my big screen, not as nice as on my 15''
Laptop, but most shows I watch on-line. Radio rarely"
How do you think the BBC should be paid for?
majority favoured continuing with the licence fee. There was a
general consensus that the BBC was something of a British tradition
and as such, there was not a huge appetite to see it change. However,
some respondents noted that the BBC earned income by selling programmes
overseas and queried how this money was invested.
under 20 per cent of those who voted in the poll wanted the BBC
to be funded through subscription.
respondents noted that the licence fee was a significant cost
and one which was not easily affordable for students.
the fact that the Student Room's audience was probably one with
less income, given that most are not in full-time work, the support
for funding the BBC through advertising was not as extensive as
might have been expected. Many who responded expressed a dislike
for adverts and would not want to see them on the BBC.
who said that they could not afford the licence fee reported that
they avoided the charge by not watching live television, instead
viewing programmes later via catch-up.
the licence fee was the preferred option, there was also a feeling
among many that television and viewing methods were changing considerably
and that the current licence fee model might not be sustainable.
"40p per day adds up to £150 for the year
(ish) which is a lot of money for students. That's a month of
food with enough left for some nights out. A lot of money"
"You can break anything you want down into price
per day and it looks insignificant. Even if you said £1 a
day it seems quite small. I feel however that there should be
a much easier opt out
The problem with the BBC is that the licence fee
is not justified as it does nothing ground-breaking outside of
BBC4 maybe, which is the only channel of its kind. Everything
else [the] BBC does is done elsewhere, and is commercially viable,
that is not what the licence fee is for.
"I still believe a TV licence is the best way
of ensuring the BBC can produce high quality broadcasts. Adverts
are a massive time waste and I would much rather have an ad-free
experience. I feel having a taxable portion of an individual's
income is a viable option but many people are disgruntled with
the sheer volume of taxation they are coping with and since not
all are regularly TV viewers it is most likely unfair to tax those
who will have no benefit from what that taxation will fund. As
for subscription they are too much hassle to maintain if those
by Sky and other networks are anything to go by so in my opinion;
a TV licence is the way forth. If it isn't broke don't fix it.
"I am a traditionalist when it comes to TV -
the BBC is "Britain"...... it's not hard to get nostalgic
about it, it's a big part of our culture for me. I'm definitely
not a fan of adverts, I watch most things on record so I can fast
forward commercial breaks. A tax isn't all that fair given some
people do not have televisions and unlike the NHS this really
isn't a "life or death" situation.
"I genuinely groan when my yearly TV licence
email comes through.... £100 straight out the account just
before Christmas! Ouch! It seems like a lot of money at the time.
"It's frustrating that I choose to have a TV
but my neighbour next door could plug in their tablet into a screen
and watch iPlayer for free... with a 30 minute delay to live programming!
"Another subscription service would turn me
offI already pay for Virgin Media and Netflix and with
that comes all the catch up channels. If that's the way it has
to go would the BBC work with providers such as Sky, Virgin Media
and BT to build in the charge into the monthly/yearly cost of
their packages like Sky Sports or Netflix?
"To be honest, I think they should be run commercially,
the idea behind the licence fee is that the BBC makes shows which
are not economically viable for a commercially run station to
produce. These days that is not the case, they see talent shows
on ITV, and copy them, they are more than commercially viable
these days, and should have to be funded as such."
"I would like adverts in between as every other
channel does this I don't understand why BBC need to be funded
"Either that, or subscription similar to Netflix
as suchthat way, people who don't get signal, don't watch
BBC etc are not obligated to pay for it."
"I don't think it is fair, but then again neither
is funding nuclear weapons through direct taxation, at least the
BBC provide a service which benefits most people."
"Alternatively, we could even have a choice
if we want to watch adverts or not, and pay for a premium package
which is advert free."
"I'd hate the idea of adverts personally. But
the corporation makes many hundreds of millions from selling the
rights to shows like Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor
Who all over the world, the first two are among the most watched
television shows globally. The BBC just needs to use the money
from that more sensibly. Cut down the dross that it doesn't need".
"Given this shift away from TV, and the difficulty
in preventing and tracking activity across a wide range of online,
digital and radio services, I don't think the current model is
long-term sustainable unless the BBC finds a way to retain live
TV viewing figures. I also think the current model isn't progressive.
If you're unemployed and looking for work, the BBC's documentaries,
news, weather, current affairs, etc are useful, and I also don't
think poor people should have their light entertainment taken
away from them because they can't afford a TV Licence (it would
be around 5% of many people's weekly JSA). It's hardly living
the life of luxury having a TV, as the Daily Mail would like to
portray. I also think that whilst not everybody purchases a TV
Licence, almost everybody consumes BBC media in some form each
year. Given that pretty much everybody does, and that it should
be seen as a public service (after some reforms), I feel it should
be paid for through general taxation."
"The BBC should never have adverts! I would
pay TV licence for all of the channels if it meant no adverts,
however I think the TV licence should NOT work like a driving
licence, it should work that the TV only works once you have paid
the fee and then cut off if you don't pay it, like how water,
electricity and internet work. This would save the cost of having
TV licence inspectors and mean bring down the fee of the TV licence
as more people would be forced to pay it, meaning that each person
would need to pay less!"
Does the BBC appeal to you? What is your "go
to" television channel? How does the BBC's content aimed
at young people compare with the choice that is available elsewhere?
was a consensus that the BBC did not appeal to a younger audience
to the same extent as other broadcasters. Channel 4, E4 and Comedy
Central were named as the channels of choice for younger viewers.
Of the BBC channels, BBC Three received the most positive response
and programmes such as Bad Education and Being Human were singled
out as appealing to younger viewers.
respondents commented that the BBC's output was biased.
common complaint was that while many enjoyed watching BBC Three,
popular US imports such as American Dad and Family Guy were not
available to view online.
BBC, particularly BBC One, was praised for its dramas. Programmes
such as Sherlock and Doctor Who were particularly noted.
"Most of my favourite TV shows are on the BBCGBBO,
University Challenge, Question Time, Bang Goes the Theory, Doctor
Who! BBC 2 and BBC 4 always have good documentaries."
"The BBC doesn't really offer any TV shows that
I deem are actually worth paying the licence fee forthey're
all aimed towards an older generation (except for BBC 3 which
is just full of repeats). I generally watch Channel 4 for the
News and TV shows."
"I normally go to BBC3, I'm gutted they're axing
it because they have great shows and can't show Family Guy online."
"Well I mainly go to BBC1 for dramas and BBC3
for real life documentaries/comedies and Family Guy. But if there
is something of interest on BBC2 or 4 then I'll watch them."
"I think that the BBC should spend money on
bringing US shows into the country, but they should also be working
to develop their own original content. Bad Education and Cuckoo
are two great series on BBC3 and they should be producing more
shows like them."
"I love the BBC news channel it is my favourite
channel! A bit weird for an 18 year old I know but I love the
news! However, I love the Bake off and Doctor Who and I am gutted
that BBC3 is being put online only as I love Russell Howard's
Good News and watching the great comedies that have appeared on
"Everything apart from their news department
is fine. BBC news is trash. Biased towards certain views and will
do so subtly by using selective language in certain instances,
reporting one side of an argument more than the other or leaving
opposing opinions either as footnote at the bottom of an article,
tucked away or not reporting it at all. It gets away with this
due to its reputation for being unbiased with regards to political
affiliation that people somehow think extends to other issues."
Who should pay for the BBC?
was overwhelming support for the idea that the BBC should only
be paid for by those who view and access BBC services.
few people suggested that the licence fee as it stands should
be abolished and the BBC should instead be funded by adverts.
was support for encryption so that it would be possible to exclude
access to those who had not paid for BBC services.
"With fewer people watching TV as it is being
broadcast, people will require licences less, and whilst licence
revenue increased slightly last year, I think it will peak as
the younger generations realise they don't actually need a licence."
"(i) Encrypt BBC Freeview transmissions in
the same way that Top up TV
.(ii) Restrict the use of live
iPlayer streaming to customers who have signed up with an account
and pay a subscription to the BBC."
"I would happily never watch a BBC channel again
if it meant not having to pay. I certainly don't spend most of
my TV watching time watching BBC and would easily stop watching
to avoid paying. The BBC channels are some of the worst out there
yet they are the ones we pay for."
"I think, apart from the BBC news channel and
BBC Parliament, the BBC should be privatisedthe state's
role isn't to entertain us. Entertainment is a privilege, not
"The TV licensing model is outdated because
it focuses on those who consume BBC services but doesn't correctly
identify themit relies purely on those watching TV as it
is being broadcast, and ignores that pretty much everybody in
the UK will engage with something from the BBC in some form or
another every year."
"It's one of our national treasures. Publicly
financed, largely independent of political bias, caters to the
young and to the old, produces content that spans from the low
brow to the highbrow, keeps Britain internationally relevant with
its famous TV exports (Doctor Who, Top Gear, etc) and the BBC
World Service, and really isn't that expensive if you think about
The BBC has plans to make some of its content
aimed at younger people available only on iPlayer. What do you
think about that?
respondents commented that moving BBC Three to iPlayer would exclude
those without good broadband connections. One respondent noted
that the proposal was discriminatory as limitations were being
applied only to content aimed at younger persons.
the other hand, some believed that reducing the spend on BBC Three
could potentially reduce the BBC's expenditure, which in turn
could lead to a reduced licence fee.
thought that the move online was a necessary step for the BBC
to adapt to the way many younger people now chose to view content.
was disillusionment among some with BBC Three given its over-reliance
on US imports and the number of repeats shown. Others enjoyed
these American shows.
thought that the BBC needed to improve its archive of programmes
available online (similar to 4oD).
"If BBC3 [does] go online only then we'll lose
Family Guy and American Dad as the BBC pays for their rights from
Fox but on the other hand, it may reduce the TV licence fee. It
may become unpopular because not everybody has access to the internet."
"I think that it's completely wrong for BBC
[Three] to become a purely online service, as a) not everyone
has good internet, and b) watching live television should not
be only available to older people. It's discriminatory."
"I think the reasoning is that young people
are less likely to sit in front of the TV and instead stream things
and use Netflix and the likes. I know that's definitely true with
me. I couldn't tell you the last time I watched the TV, I just
stream everything either off the Xbox or my laptop linked to the
"Personally, I think it's awful! The government
of this country only really cares about the older generation,
probably because this is the generation most likely to vote. I
personally have loved BBC3 and hope that there can be some way
it can remain on TV, I love Russell Howard and many of the documentaries
and comedies that have appeared on the channel."
"BBC Three has been a joke for at least 6 years,
and nothing like back when it was BBC Choice when it showed great
shows like Coupling, Monkey Dust etc
All I watch on it now is Family Guy, American Dad,
and some of the home grown stuff like Cuckoo which is tolerable
but nothing like the good days of Coupling
I would rather it showed good programmes and stayed
on TV than anything else, I hate streaming as I always find it
lower quality than broadcast and I like a schedule rather than
just random shows being available."
"BBC3 broadcasts some good shows from time to
time. I've watched quite a few documentaries on it and they were
pretty interesting. I doubt I'd ever watch it if it went online
only. I mostly watch it when I'm browsing through the channels
and something catches my interests. It's unlikely I'd go out of
my way to check what is showing online."
"iPlayer does need to boost its archives, admittedly,
but it makes sense to transport BBC Three to digital only. Its
quality has been dwindling for some time."
"If younger people could access that channel
without a TV licence that would be quite fair because we'd have
to pair the broadband to require it."