Lords select committee report on BBC Charter review

House of Lords Select Committee report on the BBC Charter Review (84 pages, PDF). The report is critical of the proposals in the BBC Charter Green Paper for the reform of the governance and regulation of the BBC, and proposes a quite different set of arrangements.

On content regulation, the report suggests that Ofcom should have the same regulatory powers over the BBC as it has for other terrestrial broadcasters. In relation to the market impact of BBC services, the report recommends that the market impact assessment carried out as part of the proposed public value test should be commissioned from an independent third party; that the BBC should not launch a new service if a market impact assessment indicates that this "will risk stifling a new market"; and that there should be a right of appeal to Ofcom on matters of substance and procedure if "the BBC has not paid due regard to the evidence obtained through the Public Value Test".

The report recommends that the BBC's Fair Trading Commitment should be revised and should be subject to approval by Ofcom. It also states that Ofcom should be responsible for the "external regulation" of the BBC; the report implies that this external regulation would involve ex ante rules, designed to ensure that the BBC does not give undue preference to its commercial activities or engage in cross-subsidisation.

Filed under BBC, Media, Ofcom.

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