No change to UK PSB retrans fees, despite law amendment

The UK government will repeal a law that says pay TV operators need not pay fees to carry commercial public service channels, but said it expects no change to the status quo. In a consultation document published yesterday, the government confirmed that it will repeal Section 73 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, […]

Government could force BBCWW to sell UKTV stake

The British government could force BBC Worldwide to sell its 50% in multichannel operator UKTV, which has been a vital cash cow for the BBC’s commercial operation. The culture department of the Conservative government has considered forcing a sale various times in the past two years, and according to The Telegraph, it has now revisited […]

Clementi review: Ofcom should regulate BBC

The current system of governance of the BBC is “flawed” and the public broadcaster should be regulated directly by Ofcom, according to an independent review commissioned by the UK government. The report, which is part of the Government’s review of the BBC’s Royal Charter, recommends, in addition, that the BBC should should have a unitary […]

UK government pledges superfast broadband for new homes

The UK government has unveiled plans to make superfast fibre broadband available to all new home developments. Announcing the new deal, the government said it has worked with BT’s Openreach network infrastructure arm and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on an agreement that aims to provide fibre to new homes either for free or as […]

Government pledges funds for BBC World Service expansion

The BBC Trust has welcomed plans by the government to fund an extension of the BBC’s World Service with additional spending. As part of its ‘National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015’, published yesterday, the government said it will invest “£85 million each year by 2017/18 in the BBC’s digital, TV and […]

UK government admits to Channel 4 sale option

The British Conservative government has admitted it is looking at privatising public broadcaster Channel 4 despite previously denying the option was on the table. Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the channel, which is currently publicly-owned and advertiser-funded, could be sold or part-privatised to secure Channel 4 “a strong and secure future”. “I think it is […]

BBC defends right to remain a ‘universal public broadcaster’

The BBC Trust has defended its right to remain a “universal public service broadcaster” and opposed the potential sale of its commercial arm BBC Worldwide or future ‘top-slicing’ of the licence fee. In its formal response to the UK Government’s Green Paper consultation on the BBC’s Charter Review, the BBC’s governing body claimed that, at […]

UK superfast broadband scheme connects three million

The government-funded rollout of superfast broadband in the UK has now reached more than three million homes and businesses. According to the government, the rollout of internet speeds greater than 24 Mbps to properties not covered by existing commercial networks is on track to take superfast access to 95% of the UK by 2017. Government […]

Industry reacts to BBC review

Industry groups, analysts, media specialist and advocacy groups have been quick to react to yesterday’s Green Paper, which outlined options for the future of the BBC. The government and senior BBC managers have just thrashed out a deal for the licence fee, agreeing to peg it to inflation. The Green Paper, however, suggested the government […]

BBC Trust hits out over licence fee deal

The head of the BBC Trust has hit out over the way the recent licence fee deal was hammered out between the UK government and BBC management, and called for safeguards to ensure the public has a voice in such fundamental decisions. The BBC Trust that was established to oversee the activities of the UK […]