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Independent research published by the BBC Trust has found no clear evidence that BBC entertainment programmes, news programmes or online ‘crowd out’ local newspapers or commercial broadcasters.
The analysis, conducted by KPMG for the BBC Trust, looked at the impact of BBC online on local newspapers, and the impact of BBC TV on news and entertainment programmes from commercial broadcasters.
The report was commissioned by the Trust in response to questions asked by the Government in its Green Paper on the BBC’s Charter Review, about the BBC’s wider impact on the market, and whether it crowds out the commercial sector.
In its overview of the KPMG findings, the Trust has highlighted the importance of continued vigilance and regulation in this area, to guard against any future negative market impacts.
Key findings from KPMG’s work include:
“The BBC operates in a vibrant market, not a vacuum, and this report finds that the current BBC does not freeze out commercial investment simply by existing,” said BBC Trust Chairman Rona Fairhead. “However, the Trust is also clear that, as a public service broadcaster with £3.7 billion of public money, the BBC’s effect on the market must continue to be carefully regulated to ensure a high quality range of media is maintained.”
The Trust has also published a report from KPMG on the role of the BBC in supporting economic growth, which specifically looks at the economic contribution from the BBC’s presence in the north-west of England, largely through its Salford base; the contribution of the BBC’s presence in the online market; and the BBC’s contribution to the music industry economy.
The reports informed the Trust’s formal submission to the Government on Charter Review, published on 8 October, and are also being submitted to the Government.