The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV had been working together to establish Project Kangaroo as a one-stop shop for TV show streaming and downloads from the broadcasters. However, in a decision revealed this month UK competition regulators nixed these plans on fears they would stifle competition in the UK market.
The BBC Trust has refused permission for the BBC to introduce its own local video service to cover local events in 60 parts of the UK, arguing that it wouldn’t be beneficial enough for the public and that it would have a “negative impact on commercial media”.
Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust, said: “It is clear from the evidence that, although licence fee payers want better regional and local services from the BBC, this proposal is unlikely to achieve what they want.
UK regulator Ofcom today published the Terms of Reference for its Market Impact Assessment (MIA) of the BBC’s proposed Local Video service. Ofcom has also invited stakeholders to respond to a list of questions published today.
The BBC’s Local Video service expands upon existing BBC Local websites on bbc.co.uk with a focus on 60 areas, typically a county or conurbation, across the UK.
The BBC wants to create and deliver local video news, sport and weather programmes to complement its existing service, offering Local information in both Welsh and English in Wales.
Diane Coyle, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Public Value and Fair Trading Committee, said: “Last year the Trust challenged BBC management to respond to licence fee payers wanting better local services. We wanted a proposal that would deliver public value with minimum adverse impact on local newspapers and other commercial media services.
The Market Impact Assessment of the proposed BBC Local Video service will examine the likely impact of the service proposed by the BBC on similar and related products and services, examining in particular the extent to which the service might affect innovation and investment in the commercial sector.
BBC management believes the proposition will help the BBC meet its public purposes and close the gap between the importance that audiences attach to the BBC’s local role and their view of current performance.
Ofcom, however, will consider the impact of the plan upon:
* local newspapers and associated online services;
* local radio stations and associated online services;
* local and regional TV services and associated online services;
* mobile TV services; and
* other online services.
The results of the MIA will be published alongside the BBC Trust’s Public Value Assessment on 18 November 2008 with a final decision on the plans set for February 2009.