to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee on BBC Charter Review September 2015


Download

Final Submission      Longer (orig) Submission





Executive Summary

 

  1. IBT’s primary interest is in the existing global purpose of the BBC, To bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK.  Television plays a vital role in engaging us with the wider world because, despite the growth of the internet, it remains the main source of information for people in the UK about what is happening in the world.

 

    1. It is our view that the BBC needs to remain of a scale to be able to effectively deliver its mission.

 

  1. IBT does not believe there is any convincing evidence that other UK broadcasters are failing financially as a result of the BBC’s over dominance.

 

  1. We disagree that audiences might be better served by a more narrowly-focused BBC because this will lead to reduced audience reach and therefore reduced public benefit.

 

  1. IBT welcomes the BBC Trust’s work in creating a framework to assess delivery of the BBC’s mission which has included consultation with licence fee payers. We would like this aspect of the Trust’s work to continue during the next Charter.

 

  1. IBT believes that in general terms the BBC has the right genre mix across its services, however, we would like to see the BBC work harder to deliver the global purpose across a wider range of genres as is specified in the Charter and not be over-reliant on news, current affairs and documentaries to fulfil this purpose.

 

  1. IBT opposes the process whereby the licence fee settlements of December 2010 and July 2015 were negotiated without any public or Parliamentary scrutiny.

 

  1. IBT opposes the move to spend licence fee income on projects which do not directly support the delivery of the BBC’s public purposes. In future we would like there to be a statutory process to decide the nature of the BBC Charter and the level of the licence fee which would include full public and Parliamentary scrutiny.

 

  1. IBT believes that the licence fee is the best way to fund the BBC for the coming Charter period. We would welcome further research to be conducted by DCMS on the household fee as a model to fund the BBC.

 

  1. If it is decided that there is market failure in certain genres or content, IBT agrees it might be desirable to create an independent fund to pay for the provision of such content, but the resources to pay for this should be additional to the licence fee.

 

  1. IBT does not see a convincing logic to full or part privatization of BBC Worldwide.
  1. IBT’s primary interest is in the existing global purpose of the BBC, To bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK.

 

  1. As UK citizens, we have needs, rights and interests in being informed and educated about both our own society and that wider international society of which we are part. This is especially so now that it is readily apparent that events and processes in the wider world have both direct and indirect impact on how we live our lives.

 

  1. The current refugee crisis is an example of how we need to be aware of the international political, social and economic drivers at play to fully understand what our role and responsibility should be as a nation.

 

  1. Television plays a vital role in informing us because, despite the growth of the internet, it remains the main source of information for people in the UK about what is happening in the world.

 

  1. It is our view that the BBC needs to remain of a scale to be able to effectively deliver its mission.

 

  1. A longer, more detailed version of this submission is available on the IBT website (www.ibt.org.uk).
Back to top