Memorandum by Professor Phil Redmond CBE
Q1: Should the BBC have a duty to bid for
certain sports events?
The BBC should only have a duty to bid for coverage
of sporting occasions that pass a cultural imperative test. ie:
are they of interest to the nation as a whole and/or the occasion
is/will not be adequately covered elsewhere; are they minority
sports receiving no commercial exposure; are they developing sports
that needs promoting and encouraging? This should be a wider test
than the "protected events" criteria.
However, if and when the BBC does decide to
bid for such events, to reduce high prices paid for access (which
must come from the Licence Fee); there is also no need for the
BBC to have exclusive rights to such occasions. They should be
free to explore the partnership possibilities in sharing resources
with commercial broadcasters and, as a consequence, also receive
either free access to such events or share in sponsorship revenue
for exposure on the PSB platforms. This is not the same as competing
Q2: Is the BBC too aggressive in the way it
bids for sports rights?
The BBC is probably as aggressive as the market
Q3: Should there be an independent review
of the way the BBC bids for sports rights?
There should be an independent enquiry taking
on board the comments made in Q1 above.
Q1: Does the BBC's proposed move to Manchester
represent value for money for the licence payer?
The proposed move to Manchester is probably
not value for money as it mainly involves relocating people from
one centre to another with all the concomitant costs and difficulties
that will entail. It would be far better to change policy and
allow the staff at the existing regional centres to change their
focus so that they can supply programming from the regions to
the centre. This would not require huge upheaval and relocation
Q2: Should the BBC continue to decentralise?
The BBC should continue to decentralise but
the definition of the term needs close scrutiny. Decentralisation
is not relocating existing structures to newer buildings.
Q3: Should the BBC move towards "ultra-local"
The BBC should not move to ultra-local services
as this would require resources far beyond what would be politically
acceptable, for both government and Licence Fee payers. The BBC
should retain its role as national public service broadcaster
but should look to using that position as a collator and disseminator
of cultural agendas.
Q4: If so, what form should such services
The BBC should not supply ultra-local services
as it will never have sufficiently strong roots in local communities
to make them efficient and relevant.
Q5: Should the BBC provide stand-alone local
services or work in partnership with other non-profit distributing
The BBC should not provide stand alone services
but should work in partnership with local community groups. In
areas such as training and media aggregator.
THE BBC WORLD
[No response submitted]
[No response submitted]
THE BBC AS
Q1: In the context of the digital revolution
is the future of the BBC principally as a producer and commissioner
of high quality programming or as a broadcaster?
In a future digital world the term broadcaster
will become redundant as consumers will migrate to whatever digital
medium they feel most with whether that be radio, television,
PDA, phone etc. The role for the BBC will be to act as content
aggregator and provide a safe and trusted portal for consumers
to use. This tends to suggest that the future will be as commissioner.
It will be forced by technological change with only the rate of
change slowed by political moderation.
The digital switchover, in terms of consumers
using digital platforms has probably already happened in most
homes, with the challenge being to ensure universal social inclusion
to online services rather than the form that broadcast television
Q1: What more can the BBC do better involve
the public in its decision making processes?
The BBC can connect better in three ways:
by looking to digital technology
to develop new methods of interactive monitoring of output, or
future output, in the form of computer analysis of digital responses
through websites etc, in much the same way that major retailers
monitor customer preferences through loyalty cards;
by including an annual questionnaire
with each Licence Fee renewal demand/notice; and
by regionalising its governance by
setting up devolved boards/trusts to represent the BBC in each
region as well as monitor output in each nation and regionwith
the Chairs of those boards coming together to form the national
governors or Trustees. That way the nations and regions would
better support the BBC's national role.
10 October 2005