bbc-trustThe BBC Trust is provisionally approving the launch of the corporation’s planned free-to-view satellite service, Freesat, in partnership with ITV.
According to the Trust, the service offers licence fee payers alternative access to digital services in the lead-up to the 2012 switchover, which is guaranteed subscription free.
The Trust says after considering market impact, it acknowledges there may be some negative effects, but those should be balanced against the potential positive of greater choice. A decision will be made in April after the recently launched 28-day public consultation.

Over 8m homes currently have Freeview and when the analogue switch-off takes place in 2012, its coverage will be the same as that of the present analogue TV service.
Some viewers are not able to receive it at the moment, because not all transmitters have been upgraded. Acting BBC chair, Chitra Bharucha, says the new guaranteed subscription-free satellite service gives the public another option when deciding which platform to choose.

She says over half of those who have yet to switch are outside the Freeview coverage area and for those homes, Freesat means they can access BBC digital services already paid for in their licence fee, but which until now they have been unable to receive subscription-free. Bharucha says the Trust has decided Freesat meets the BBC’s Charter and Agreement definition of ‘non-service’, which does not need a Public Value Test.

Share Button

By Expat