Advanced Television

BBC to reduce web and digital services after switch-off?

November 30, 2009

The BBC will consider cutting some of its digital television and radio services after the analogue TV signal is switched off in 2012, its director general, Mark Thompson, has said. Thompson also said that there would be “reductions in some content” including a look at the “current scope of our website”. He promised that, after the switchover, a higher proportion of the licence fee would be spent on “original British content”.

Thompson admitted that it may seem “slightly counter-intuitive” to be talking about cutting digital services when viewers were being encouraged to switch to digital TV. But he said that viewers were now consuming TV in different ways via on-demand services such as the BBC iPlayer, adding that the corporation had already cut the number of interactive services it offers via the red button on digital TV.

“We’ll have conclusions from the review early in 2010. Without preempting them, I can tell you something about the direction of travel,” he said.

“Expect to see reductions in some kinds of programmes and content – a look, for example, at the current scope of our website – and a close examination of the future of our service portfolios once switchover has been achieved.”

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