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BBC Trust launches ‘value for money’ distribution review

February 14, 2013

By Colin Mann

The BBC Trust has commissioned a review to examine whether the way the BBC distributes its content provides good value for money for licence fee payers.

The work is being undertaken by specialist media consultancy Mediatique and will look into the BBC’s UK distribution activities, from ‘traditional’ methods such as television and radio, to the growing ‘online’ field.

The review will consider whether the BBC is meeting its obligations for distribution, ensuring every household has convenient access to BBC services across the UK – free at the point of use – and whether it is doing this in a cost-effective way. It will also consider how well placed the BBC is to meet its future UK distribution challenges, given the ever-evolving ways in which people choose to access BBC services.

Anthony Fry, lead BBC Trustee on value for money, noted that the BBC spends a significant amount on distribution – some £200 million a year or six per cent of the total budget. “In a changing landscape, with increasing numbers of people accessing content online or on mobile and tablet devices, it is vitally important that we look at how and where the BBC is spending money on distribution, to ensure it is making the best use of its resources and securing value for money,” he affirmed.

Mediatique, appointed following a competitive selection process, will be speaking to those responsible for distribution within the BBC and will draw on their wider industry experience and expertise to assess how well the Corporation’s distribution arrangements are working. The consultancy will recommend how improvements can be made if necessary.

The review is expected to conclude this summer and will result in a written report to the BBC Trust, which will be laid before Parliament and published on the BBC Trust website.

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