BBC calls in the Trust to examine YouView, Freesat and Freeview funding

BBC calls in the Trust to examine YouView, Freesat and Freeview funding
When is free, not free? When BT asks for a monthly sub, of course

The BBC Trust has recommended the corporation rethink its hefty investments in television services like YouView, Freesat and Freeview, amid concerns they're not offering license payers value for money.

The BBC spends £233 million a year on ensuring its services are available freely through the set-top boxes and digital platforms, but those lines have been blurred by the bundling in of subscription platforms.

The Trust says the subsidising of YouView boxes by ISPs like BT and TalkTalk, which require ongoing monthly costs for broadband or pay TV, undermines the BBC's mission of providing free-to-air content.

A report reads: "The BBC should carefully review its investments in TV platforms, namely Freeview, Freesat and YouView in light of BBC-wide platform and distribution strategy and in particular its duty to promote the availability of services free (or at no incremental cost) at the point of delivery."


It continues: "In practice, nearly all YouView 'sales' have been of subsidised equipment offered by sponsoring internet service providers [BT and TalkTalk] in exchange for a subscription payment of some kind.

"This may have implications for the BBC's strategy of promoting "free" access to its services."

Earlier this week, it was reported that the BBC and other YouView partners like Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV are going to slash their investment in the on-demand, connected platform.

It comes amid fears the platform, which was intended to assure free-to-air television continued to prosper in the digital era, has been hijacked as a means of selling TV packages.

YouView is believed to have entered over one million homes in the UK, but hasn't achieved as much success as the partners had hoped during its agonisingly long period in development.

Via Guardian

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.