Select Committee on Select Committee on the BBC Charter Review First Report


CHAPTER 6: The role of the BBC

155.  The BBC has a proud past and potentially a strong future as the foundation of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) in the United Kingdom. But what is PSB and how can the BBC's contribution be assessed? The Green Paper attempts to define clearly the BBC's PSB role for the first time.

156.  Clearly defining what is meant by PSB has proven difficult. In 1999 Gavyn Davies chaired a Government appointed panel on BBC funding. The panel could not "offer a tight new definition of PSB", but its members claimed they "knew it when we saw it".[56] The Communications Act 2003 provides a definition of PSB at section 264 based on the purposes of PSB and the sort of programming required to realise those purposes. In the Green Paper the Government propose a fuller set of public purposes to clarify and codify the BBC's roles. We consider three of these purposes in detail: reflecting the nations and regions; bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK; and building digital Britain. We also consider the Government's proposals in the light of evidence to us which argued that the BBC should provide services clearly distinct from those provided by other broadcasters.

The Government's proposals

157.  The first general manager of the BBC, John Reith, believed the BBC's role was to "inform, educate and entertain". These values have underpinned BBC services ever since. However, the Green Paper states that "in today's complex media market, where many other broadcasters are fulfilling some part of this very general remit to some degree, the BBC's role needs to be more clearly defined and more widely understood".[57] It proposes that "inform, educate and entertain" should continue to guide the BBC's mission but that these objectives should be achieved through a set of clearly defined public purposes towards which all BBC services should contribute. The purposes are: sustaining citizenship and civil society; promoting education and learning; stimulating creativity and cultural excellence; representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities; bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK; and building digital Britain.

158.  The Government's proposal builds on the BBC's own proposal that its performance should be evaluated in terms of five public purposes.[58] Mark Thompson, the Director-General of the BBC, told us that the Government's proposals improve on the BBC's (Q 40). Ofcom has also set out a new definition of PSB described in terms of "purposes and characteristics" which complements the definition in the Communications Act 2003.[59] Richard Hooper, the Deputy Chairman of Ofcom, told us that there was a high level of agreement between the BBC and Ofcom on the Green Paper's proposed definitions of the BBC's public purposes (Q 448).

159.  The Government support Ofcom's suggestion that, in delivering the public purposes, BBC content should display certain characteristics. These are: high quality; challenging; original; innovative; and engaging. The Green Paper states that "All BBC services should strive to fulfil the full range of public purposes. Not every individual programme (or piece of internet content) will always fulfil such a purpose, although the vast majority should. However every programme should display at least one of the characteristics".[60]

160.  Many of our witnesses supported these moves to define the BBC's public purposes and service characteristics. Gavyn Davies told us "in trying to define the indefinable I think they have done quite a good job" (Q 387). The Public Voice coalition told us that "Previously it has been open to the BBC regime of the day to define the BBC's purpose to its own liking, without the transparency and accountability to the public that these purposes will institute" (p 165).

161.  However, some witnesses criticised the Government's proposals on the grounds that any single BBC programme or service will only be required to meet one of the defined characteristics and would not necessarily have to meet any of the public purposes. The Satellite and Cable Broadcasters Group told us that "Had the proposed definitions and purposes been enshrined in the last Charter, they would not have prevented the BBC from making any of the programmes nor embarking on any of the enterprises that now come under strong criticism from many quarters including the BBC's supporters" (p 233). The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers said that further work was needed before the proposals would be effective in constraining the BBC from operating to its own ends. They therefore argued that all five programme characteristics should apply simultaneously (p 498).

162.  We sympathise with these concerns. For example, we do not think that if a programme, or piece of internet content, is "engaging" this should be considered sufficient. However, it would be impossibly exacting to require every BBC programme to meet all of the Government's proposed characteristics. For example, no BBC radio or television channel could ever show a repeat if all programmes had to be "original". Nevertheless, we support the Green Paper's statement that "The set of purposes and characteristics should form the basis for a new, more rigorous system of regulation and performance measurement".[61]

163.  Some witnesses have proposed that distinctiveness should be a mandatory characteristic. The Satellite and Cable Broadcasters Group asserted that the only justification for the licence fee is provision of desirable public services that would not otherwise be available. It therefore argued that a requirement for distinctive programming "is the only safeguard that the private sector has against unwarranted publicly funded intervention, and the only protection the consumer has against wasteful duplication"(p 233). This view was shared by BSkyB (p 138).

164.  We do not agree that all BBC services should be distinctively different from those offered by commercial broadcasters. This would confine the BBC to a very narrow range of programming with little popular appeal. The BBC must appeal to all sectors of society because all pay for it. By mixing popular and distinctive programming the BBC can introduce large audiences to programmes they might not otherwise watch. We agree with the Voice of the Listener and Viewer who told us "Since every household is required to pay a television licence, the balance between popularity and distinctiveness in BBC programming is crucial" (p 160). We therefore welcome the Government's assertion in the Green Paper that the BBC "should provide a wide range of programmes across every genre, trying to reach the widest range of possible audiences".[62]

165.  In order to help ensure that the BBC will maintain a wide variety of high quality programming, including popular and innovative programming, the BBC Board should strive to ensure that the BBC's output as a whole fulfils the full range of public purposes. That does not mean that each and every BBC programme should necessarily be required to meet the full range of public purposes or programme characteristics. However, the BBC Board should aim to ensure that every BBC programme displays several of the desired characteristics.

166.  While we do not think that all BBC services should necessarily be distinctive, we are worried by evidence that there can be adverse consequences when the BBC bids for imported television programmes against other UK terrestrial channels. There is questionable justification for the BBC bidding against another UK terrestrial channel for an imported programme or series. This may result in an inflated price for a programme that the UK public would see anyway. Channel five told us that "the BBC should not routinely bid up the prices of acquired programming (specifically Hollywood product), as it is a poor use of licence fee payers' money and provides inappropriate competition to the commercial, advertising-supported broadcasters" (p 129). We recommend that the BBC should be conscious of its public service obligations when deciding whether to bid for imported programmes, especially when another UK free-to-air channel is aiming to procure the same product.

167.  While we welcome the "new, more rigorous system of regulation and performance measurement" proposed in the Green Paper, any regulatory system ultimately depends on the judgement of those charged with implementing it. That is why we recommend a well functioning governance structure embodied in a BBC Board charged with securing the licence fee payers' interests. The members of the Board should be committed to public service broadcasting and the combination of distinctiveness and popularity that implies. Gavyn Davies and his panel were right to say that public service broadcasting is hard to define (see para 156), that is why we believe a well functioning BBC Board, composed of effective members committed to a public service vocation for the BBC, is the best way to secure a future for the BBC commensurate with the achievements of its distinguished past.

Reflecting the nations and regions

168.  One of the public purposes of the BBC is to "reflect the UK's nations, regions and communities". The Government defined this as "Reflecting and strengthening our cultural identity through original programming at local, regional and national level, on occasion bringing audiences together for shared experiences" and "making us aware of different cultures and alternative viewpoints, through content that reflects the lives of other people and other communities within the UK".[63]

169.  The BBC has been criticised for being too London focused. Pat Loughrey, the Director of BBC Nations & Regions, told us that he spent his "entire 20 year career in the BBC railing against London-centricity, but the truth is that it is every bit as bad in each of the three [other] nations: Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow dominate to far too great an extent" (Q 692).

170.  There are two aspects to a greater BBC focus on the nations and regions. The first is more regional and national broadcasting and the second is more regional and national production.

BROADCASTING IN THE NATIONS AND REGIONS

171.  In the past ITV1 was the dominant regional television provider, primarily because it was set up as a federal system of regionally-based broadcasters. However, in its evidence to us Ofcom stated that in respect of regional television "the BBC has increased its provision, particularly in the nations, while ITV1's has fallen back" (p 99). Charles Allen told us that ITV continuing with certain regional programming, including regional news, is of questionable commercial viability (Q 478). This makes the BBC's regional activities particularly important. However, Pat Loughrey told us that "to replace like-for-like the old ITV commitment might be inheriting a failed model" (Q 687). The Green Paper states that while the BBC should expand its contribution to regional programming, it should not simply compensate for reduced ITV regional output.[64]

172.  The BBC is committed to reflecting and supporting more fully the identity of local and regional communities. It proposes to strengthen this commitment by utilising new technology to create local television news services for around 60 areas across the UK. These will be more targeted than traditional regional broadcasting which was dictated by transmitter sites and local topography.[65]

173.  The BBC is also planning to extend local radio services in Bradford, Cheshire, Dorset and Somerset.[66] The Commercial Radio Companies Association told us that ITV's de-regionalisation, and a consequential need for increased BBC regionalisation in television, is not echoed in radio. It argued that plurality in the provision of local public service broadcasting may be threatened by the BBC's proposals (p 333).

174.  The Newspaper Society, representing 1,300 regional and local titles, was also concerned about the possible effect of the BBC's plans on the commercial local press. It suggested that the BBC has developed activities that directly compete with the regional press. It fears that the BBC will implement new services without "any systematic review of services development or market impact" or public consultation prior to approval of local services (p 510

175.  The BBC also proposes to develop a new strategic partnership with S4C, the Welsh language channel; to play a significant role in developing a new Gaelic Channel; and to continue its development of Irish and Ulster Scots programming.[67] We believe the BBC must do more to represent the nations of the United Kingdom. We will return to this topic in our next report.

176.  We endorse the Government's proposal that strengthening broadcasting in the nations and regions should be a core public purpose of the BBC. We also welcome the BBC's commitment to use new digital technology to provide innovative local programming. However, it would be perverse if expansion of the BBC's activities were to drive out of business existing services that are valued by the local population. We therefore recommend that, as with all new BBC services (see para 224), new local services should be subject to rigorous independent market impact assessments and their remit should be defined in service licences. The BBC Board should define the terms of the service licences. New services should not be introduced if they are likely to damage the quality, diversity and plurality of choice available to the local population.

PRODUCTION IN THE NATIONS AND REGIONS

177.  Following the passage of the Communications Act 2003, the Agreement between the Secretary of State and the BBC was amended. One important amendment requires the BBC to produce a significant proportion of its programmes (constituting a substantial proportion of production spend) outside the M25, at a wide range of different production centres, and in a variety of genres.

178.  The BBC and Ofcom must agree quotas for out of London production; the amount, range and expenditure of network programmes made outside the M25; and the range of production centres outside the M25. The 2005 quotas require not less than 30 per cent of the qualifying spend, and 25 per cent of the qualifying hours, to be produced outside London. Ofcom has defined criteria to ensure that qualifying companies and employees are genuinely regional companies

179.  ITV told us that it remains committed to sourcing 50 per cent of network programmes from outside London and that the BBC should sign up to a similar, if not greater, commitment (p 120). However, the Green Paper states that "Quotas are important, but they can be something of a blunt instrument to rely upon in ensuring that the BBC is playing its proper role in reflecting different UK regions and nations".[68]

180.  Mark Thompson told us that the London audiovisual sector is large enough to support a diverse range of independent production companies as well as in-house production at the BBC. However, in other UK cities he believed the BBC should collaborate with other broadcasters to support both in-house and independent production notably in the proposed creative "hub" in Manchester (Q 64). The BBC hopes the Manchester hub will be a new centre for research, development and independent production in the north of England.

181.  Charles Allen explained that much money has been wasted through duplication of investment in studios, transmission and infrastructure. ITV has initiated discussions with the BBC on creative hubs where independent production companies, the BBC and ITV would work together (Q 480). Pat Loughrey agreed that the BBC and its commercial competitors should not be obsessed with competing with each other and instead should work together to maximise public value. The new Manchester hub would facilitate this (Q 729). However, it is not yet clear whether the BBC and ITV are advocating the same type of hub. We recommend that the BBC, ITV and independent production companies should work together to create shared centres of regional excellence.

182.  The BBC also propose new programme commissioners based in Bristol (factual), Birmingham (daytime TV), and Glasgow (comedy and entertainment). During our visit to BBC Bristol, Pat Loughrey and Richard Klein, the BBC Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, outlined how commissioning editors in regional cities draw independent production companies to the area and stimulate regional production. John McVay, Chief Executive of PACT told us that the BBC should focus on commissioning programmes that develop the capacity of regional companies (Q 997). This he believed would build up creative capacity in the different hubs and allow production of both national and regional programmes (Q 1001).

183.  We welcome the BBC's aim to devolve programme production and commissioning across the United Kingdom. We do not believe additional regional production quotas beyond the existing "out-of-London" quotas are necessary as long as the BBC keeps to the commitments it has made. However, we believe that devolution must secure value for money. The BBC's response to the Green Paper states that the new broadcasting centre in Manchester is dependent on the level of the next licence fee settlement. When launching its bid for the next licence fee settlement the BBC stated that its out-of-London strategy will cost an additional £50 million per annum to 2013. We find it hard to believe that there are no economies to be gained by moving staff out of London. We believe the move can only be justified if it can be shown that it will provide value for money to the licence fee payer. We will return to this matter in our next report.

Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK

184.  The Government propose that the fifth public purpose for the BBC should be "Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK". We agree that the BBC should continue to provide high-quality international news coverage to a global audience. The BBC has a world wide reputation for accurate and objective reporting. It is admired and influential. It influences listeners and viewers, not by producing propaganda but by the very opposite: through its accuracy, objectivity and impartiality. In a world increasingly dominated by media channels with an all too obvious bias this is to be prized.

185.  The BBC's Global News Division consists of the BBC World Service (a public service radio network that currently broadcasts in 42 languages), BBC World (a commercial television service that broadcasts in English), and the BBC's international websites. The World Service is funded by a grant-in-aid of £225 million (rising to £239 million in 2005/6) from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The Government state that there are two main issues concerning the future of the World Service. First, the range of languages broadcast by the World Service; and second whether the World Service should broadcast TV services.[69]

186.  The FCO have commissioned a review of public diplomacy from Lord Carter of Coles for report later this year. We look forward to reading Lord Carter's conclusions concerning the World Service. We will also return to this topic in our second report.

THE LANGUAGES OF THE BBC WORLD SERVICE

187.  The FCO and the BBC World Service agree which overseas audiences should be served and in which languages programmes should be broadcast (Lord McIntosh of Haringey, Q 163). The Government state that the 42 language services currently offered by the BBC World Service are more a "product of the World Service's historical development than a realistic assessment of the United Kingdom's role in the 21st century".[70] The World Service broadcasts in 16 languages spoken in countries formerly part of the Soviet Union, eight of which are now members of the European Union. The BBC's original rationale for these services was to further democracy and human rights. The Government now suggest that democracy and human rights concerns suggest a shift in BBC focus to the Middle East, the Far East and parts of Africa and the Indian subcontinent. But so far the World Service has not re-prioritised its services to serve these areas.

188.  As measured against its international competitors, the World Service scores very highly on objectivity and trust. Nigel Chapman, Director of the BBC World Service, told us that this was central to its credibility. He stated that it aims "to have an impact with opinion formers" and that the World Service succeeds in most of the societies where the BBC measures its impact (Q 1406). The BBC states that the World Service will invest its "limited grant-in-aid resources where they are most needed and will therefore review the present portfolio of language services with "a view to significant change".[71]

189.  The World Service performs a vital role in providing impartial news and information with distinction and objectivity and thus is able to influence decision making aboard. We therefore support the Government's proposal that the resources of the World Service should respond to changing political, economic and social trends. We recommend re-prioritisation of the World Service's activities should continue and we encourage the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to focus World Service resources where it judges there is most need.

WORLD SERVICE TELEVISION

190.  Re-prioritising the languages in which the World Service operates will help maximise its impact but the World Service should also respond to changing patterns of media consumption, in particular the importance of television.

191.  We believe that given the popularity of television in the developed world, and its increasing popularity in the developing world, the World Service will struggle to continue influencing world opinion unless it launches a television service in a range of languages. The case for an Arabic language channel is a notable instance.

192.  Nigel Chapman described the BBC's Arabic Radio service as "a tremendous set of eyes and ears" for the BBC's listeners in the region (Q 1407). The BBC Arabic radio service has over 12 million listeners in the Middle East. However, 50 per cent of these listeners are in the relatively under developed markets of Sudan and Iraq. BBC penetration in more developed Arabic markets is low and it is in these regions where demand for a BBC Arabic TV service is highest (p 390). The BBC believes that providing television in Arabic is important and asserts that "being a radio and new media player will not get the job done" (Nigel Chapman, Q 1411). 2003 audience research, repeated in 2005, indicated strong demand for a BBC Arabic television service (p 390).

193.  We believe that the opportunities and benefits of BBC World Service Television in a range of languages outweigh the financial costs. We think the case is particularly strong for an Arabic language television service. We note that as we go to press the BBC World Service has announced important changes to its services which at first sight seem to be broadly in line with our recommendations. This is something we will return to in our next report.

Building digital Britain

194.  Digital technology brings with it significant potential benefits for the citizen as well as for the viewer and listener. As Lord Puttnam told us: "Digital technology provides the means for us to create a society in which the ability of all to participate in the democratic process is enhanced, in which access to learning, knowledge and skills are greatly increased and in which the competitiveness and productivity of our economy is transformed" (p 519). The Government propose that the BBC's sixth public purpose, for the duration of the next Charter, should be "Building Digital Britain". The Green Paper states that "the market alone will never deliver a fully digital Britain".[72]

195.  But what sort of digital Britain does the Government envisage? The Green Paper focuses on changing the transmission technology used for radio and television from analogue to digital. However, the potential for new technology to change the way people access the media goes far beyond this. For example, an increasing number of broadband homes are using the internet to receive radio and television services through various techniques such as streamed audio and video, file sharing and file downloading. This type of internet access already provides a promising way to combine achievement of two distinct Government's policies—turning off analogue transmission of radio and television and promoting affordable and universal access to digital interactivity via the internet.

196.  The Green Paper focuses on analogue switch-off and therefore so shall we. Analogue switch-off is a government policy. For many households the most cost effective way to get digital television will be from digital terrestrial signals but 27 per cent of UK households will be unable to get digital terrestrial services until the analogue terrestrial signal is switched off. The Government therefore state that they will "pursue digital switchover as the only way to ensure that the benefits of high quality, free-to-view digital television are available to all".[73] They intend the BBC to take a leading role in this process covering some switchover costs through the licence fee. In a speech to the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention on Thursday 15 September 2005 Tessa Jowell announced subsidies for the elderly and disabled who might otherwise struggle with the costs of digital switchover. The Government intend that this support will be funded by the BBC through its licence fee.

197.  Already, new BBC services have helped increase take-up of digital technology. Freeview, the BBC's joint venture with BSkyB and the US transmission firm Crown Castle, has been the main driver in the take up of digital terrestrial television. The BBC and the commercial radio industry jointly set up the Digital Radio Development Bureau and have played an important role in promoting take up of Digital Radio. The Government now propose that the BBC should promote digital radio to extend digital radio coverage to 90 per cent of the UK population. In television, the Government have taken up the BBC's offer to play a leading role in digital switchover and in the Switchco organisation (now called Digital UK). Digital UK will co-ordinate the technical process of switchover, play a leading role in the public information campaign about switchover and help establish and fund schemes to assist the most vulnerable consumers to switch to digital.[74]

198.  It is already clear that analogue switch-off will be very costly. Viewers and listeners will have to replace or adapt all their analogue television sets and video and audio recorders. Moreover, the costs to broadcasters of digitising their studio and transmission networks will be formidable. In its licence fee bid for the period 2007-13 the BBC's estimates of its own costs of completing the transition from analogue to digital are of the order of £1.64bn.[75] While many of these costs are associated with the BBC's internal plans for new services a significant proportion of the £1.64bn is money earmarked for fulfilling roles the Government have asked the BBC to undertake. These include taking a prominent role in Digital UK and being a major contributor to the marketing and communications activities linked to switchover as well as providing targeted help for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. These costs will be significant, for example when it launched its recent licence fee bid, the BBC stated that its role in Digital UK will cost £200m.

199.  We support the Government's objective to bring the benefits of digital broadcasting to all UK households. However, there are three possible objections to the BBC playing a lead role in switchover. First, the implications for the BBC's political independence if it is charged with delivering a government policy. Second, the evidence that the wider broadcasting market does not trust the BBC to promote and deliver switchover in a neutral way. Third, if it is to cover some switchover costs the BBC argues that the licence fee may increase significantly which, in turn will disproportionately burden low income households.

200.  The BBC should not be expected to cover external switchover costs as it is the licence fee payer who will really be paying. Switchover will already impose compulsory costs on some consumers who will need to obtain one or more set-top boxes or integrated digital televisions. The Government's updated cost benefit analysis report published in February 2005 showed quantifiable benefits to the UK economy from analogue switch-off of £1.1-£2.2.billion (in net present value terms).[76] The Government will be in direct receipt of the proceeds of the sale of analogue spectrum. Although the value of this spectrum will not be known until it is sold it is undoubtedly a very valuable asset. Given the financial benefit that the Government will accrue we do not believe that the costs of promoting and co-ordinating digital switchover and providing targeted help for the vulnerable and disadvantaged should fall on the licence fee payer. Such costs should be covered by the Government (i.e. the general tax payer). Switchover is a Government policy which applies to, and affects, all broadcasters and all viewers and listeners.

201.  Digital terrestrial television is normally provided to UK viewers through Freeview. Compared to some other cable and satellite methods of providing digital television it has limited interactivity and functions. In its response to the Green Paper the BBC cites the digital terrestrial television network as its first priority in helping to create the conditions for analogue switch-off, although it is also seeking to develop, market and promote a free to view digital satellite service. We note that BSkyB are already doing this.

202.  We received evidence from the BBC's digital competitors expressing concern that the BBC will push the Freeview platform above other platforms. Mr Simon Duffy, Chief Executive Officer for NTL, told us that while he recognised the role that Freeview has played in driving digital take up, it is an inherently limited technology which needs to be replaced in due course by something which is interactive and has much more capacity and flexibility (Q 669). Lisa Opie, Managing Director of Flextech-Telewest, was concerned that the BBC's public information campaign about digital television "should be platform agnostic". She stated that "the benefits that cable can bring in terms of greater degrees of interactivity, a richer technological platform, is very valuable to consumers and I would like to see the BBC continue to promote all platforms for digital. Pay, Sky and Cable provide a greater range of choice than Freeview does and therefore the message should be equally spread" (Q 663). BSkyB concurred stating that the BBC should "act in a technological and platform neutral manner in all of its switchover activities including information campaigns" (p 139).

203.  We are struck by the disparity between the interactivity offered by digital terrestrial television and wired internet based services. Digital terrestrial broadcast services are considerably less versatile and interactive than are wired services. Moreover we note the BBC's high estimates of the cost of completing roll out of Digital Terrestrial services. These exceed the estimated cost of establishing Digital Satellite services by a factor of 12.5. We therefore recommend a review of the relative costs and benefits of delivering universal radio and television services throughout the UK using different delivery technologies: notably wired and wireless systems.

204.  The Government have not stipulated that the BBC's public information campaign should be platform neutral. However, the Green Paper does state that the BBC should work with other broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers to play a leading role, both directly and through Switchco (now Digital UK), in the delivery of reliable and impartial information about switchover.

205.  We recommend that the BBC's public information campaigns on digital switchover be platform neutral and should educate the public on the different capabilities of the different digital platforms.

BBC research and development

206.  We received evidence that the BBC is an important innovator and leader in testing and implementing new technologies beyond those involved in digital switchover. Lord Puttnam proposed that one of the BBC's core duties should be to develop and invest in skills which underpin a strong and vibrant creative economy. He suggested that the licence fee should be "venture capital" not just for the development of creativity but for the entire range of skills deployed across the audio-visual sector (p518). Equity agreed, stating that BBC also has "a responsibility to be at the forefront of testing and developing new technologies" (p 488).

207.  David Youlton, the Chairman of the Digital Television Group, told us that the BBC's Research and Development (R&D) department has an international reputation as the "UK's NASA" underpinning British work on new image and production technology. He claimed that the BBC has "the collective memory and the largest knowledge base in the world" to work towards integrating new technologies across different platforms (Q 648). Mr Youlton told us that BBC R&D should not be sold off and should have an independent board to commercialise and generalise its work across all UK companies to maintain their competitive lead (Q 648).

208.  The BBC responded to this evidence by telling us it does not propose to sell off BBC R&D and sees "a strong, vibrant and world class technology function as key to our ability to create a digital BBC". The BBC recently conducted a review of technology which recommended that the R&D Department should "come into the heart of the BBC" and be integrated with technology strategists in a new Technology Group (p 27).

209.  We are confident that the BBC will continue to lead in technological innovation and in educating the public in new technology. We recommend that the BBC should maintain a strong Research and Development Department.


56   Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Gavyn Davies, Report of the Independent Review Panel: Review of the Future Funding of the BBC (1999). Back

57   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, p. 20. Back

58   Building Public Value, Renewing the BBC for a digital world, p. 12-14. Back

59   Ofcom review of public service television broadcasting, Phase 3 - Competition for quality, p. 7. Back

60   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, p. 28. Back

61   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, para. 1.21. Back

62   Ibid, para. 1.18. Back

63   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, p. 39. Back

64   Ibid, p. 41. Back

65   Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: BBC Response to A strong BBC, independent of government, p.23. Back

66   Ibid, p. 75. Back

67   Building Public Value, Renewing the BBC for a digital world, p. 22. Back

68   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, p. 85. Back

69   Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government, March 2005, p. 45. Back

70   Ibid. Back

71   Review of the BBC's Royal Charter: BBC Response to A strong BBC, independent of government, p. 24. Back

72   Ibid, para. 2.9. Back

73   Ibid. Back

74   Ibid, p. 51. Back

75   It is not clear from the BBC's estimates whether the costs identified are at 2005 prices.  Back

76   DCMS/DTI - Cost Benefit Analysis of Digital Switchover - Feb 2005 -http://www.digitaltelevision.gov.uk/pdf_documents/publications/CBA_Feb05.pdf Back


 
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