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BBC starts Distribution Consultation (Read 855 times)
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BBC starts Distribution Consultation
Feb 13th, 2018, 12:13am
BBC launches distribution policy consultation

The BBC is required by its Royal Charter and Framework Agreement to develop a strategy and policy for distributing its output and services. The Agreement states that before publishing that policy the BBC must consult the public and Ofcom. That consultation period begins today and runs until Monday 9 April 2018.

Effective distribution is vitally important for the BBC and its ongoing ability to inform, educate and entertain audiences. The more effectively and efficiently the BBC distributes its services, the more valuable they are to people. The lower the cost of the distribution the more the BBC can spend on British content for audiences to enjoy.

The Charter and Agreement notes that the BBC must do all that is reasonably practical to ensure audiences are able to access UK public services intended for them in a range of convenient and cost effective ways. In doing this the BBC may impose reasonable conditions under which its output and services are made available to third parties – and this must not adversely impact fair and effective competition and must be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

In order to achieve these aims the draft policy published today sets out seven conditions that form the basis under which the BBC will distribute its UK public services:

(a) Prominence - the placement of BBC content and services relative to those of other providers should be in line with audience needs and expectations
(b) Editorial Control - the BBC retains editorial control of its content and its placement
(c) Branding and Attribution - users should be able to easily identify which content on a platform is provided by the BBC
(d) Quality - users should be able to enjoy a high quality experience of BBC content and services
(e) Data - the BBC should have access to data about the usage of its services
(f) Free Access - users should incur no incremental cost to access BBC content and services
(g) Value for Money - arrangements should maximise cost-effectiveness of distribution to the licence fee payer

The BBC will require each of these seven conditions to be met, but will consider each case on its individual merits and compliance may be a matter of degree.

The public, stakeholders and Ofcom are now invited to comment on the policy and the BBC will consider their feedback before publishing its final policy.

Copies of the BBC’s draft distribution policy and distribution strategy can be found here. Further details of the consultation can be found here.

From BBC Press Office

Here is the BBC's Draft Distribution Policy in pdf format.

"The BBC's Distribution Strategy" is here which includes...

"The BBC’s duty to ensure value-for-money in its distribution activity sometimes reveals trade-offs. For example, further expansion of the DAB network or delivering every regional variant of BBC One in HD via broadcast should only be implemented if and when the costs are proportionate to the audience value they would deliver. In the context of an audience-led transition to internet-delivered services, the BBC will deprioritise investment in technologies that it is confident will be superseded."

"With the recent change in the law that requires audiences to hold a valid TV licence to watch BBC iPlayer, the BBC has sought to put in place adequate measures to inform and verify users. The BBC currently relies on self- verification (audiences confirm that they hold a licence fee), but will consider other solutions and fulfil the review of verification processes which it is required to conduct under the BBC Agreement21. Options to implement verification against a licence fee database will be considered should it be necessary as the number of internet-only households increases. The BBC’s means of distribution must therefore support self-verification solutions and have sufficient flexibility to support full verification if introduced."
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