Conflicting reports have emerged in the UK press over the future regulation of the BBC, with the Telegraph newspaper reporting that media regulator Ofcom is to take over regulation of the pubcaster from the BBC, while The Guardian cites government sources denying that a decision has been taken.
According to the Telegraph, the BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s existing governing body, is to be abolished and its powers will be taken over by Ofcom, the first time in its history that the BBC will be governed by an external body.
The paper said the decision would be signposted in a Green Paper on the BBC’s Charter renewal to be published in the next few weeks.
The Telegraph also reported that the BBC would see the licence fee either frozen or cut and that the term of its Charter would be reduced from 10 years to five.
The Guardian meanwhile, also citing unnamed sources, said that no decision had been taken and that all options were still on the table, although the Green Paper will recommend the abolition of the Trust.
The Guardian reported that the Green Paper would also raise the possibility of privatisation or part-privatisation of BBC Worldwide and parts of the BBC’s in-house production activities, which will be spun off into a new entity, BBC Studios.