COBA welcomes call for BBC transparency


Coba welcomes the recommendation today from the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that the BBC should consult more openly and transparently with industry when assessing its market impact.

Coba gave evidence to the Committee arguing that the current Charter restricted the ability of the BBC Trust to formally consult industry when conducting market impact assessments. This has meant various developments such as the Radio 1 video channel on the iPlayer have not been subject to formal consultation with industry, despite their potential to impact negatively on the market. Coba called for the BBC governing body to be given powers to consult industry formally through a streamlined test when appropriate.

The Committee supported COBA’s concerns, saying, “We recommend an additional means be developed to trigger public value and market impact tests where there is prima facie evidence of the BBC crowding out others’ endeavours and having an adverse market impact. We believe the independent panel and Charter Review process should consider this as part of the review.”

The Culture Committee criticised the BBC3 proposals, which were submitted by the BBC Management to the Trust nine months after they were announced. As a result, the PVT only started nearly a year after the original announcement which may have resulted in various changes being made to the proposals without Trust approval.