BBC Trust must review YouView investment

February 6, 2014 17.41 Europe/London By Julian Clover

A report for the BBC Trust has said the BBC should carefully review its investments in YouView, Freeview and Freesat.

The Mediatique report into the distribution of the BBC’s UK services says YouView has emerged largely as an element of the triple-play bundling strategies of the two ISP shareholders BT and Talk Talk.

At issue is the BBC’s duty to promote the availability of services that are freely available at no incremental cost.

It is already facing criticism from some YouView shareholders over the decision not to pay any fees to be carried on the non-linear interface of the broadband platform. The strategy is part of a general effort by the BBC to constrain distribution costs.

Mediatique believes the current review of BBC’s free-to-air platform strategy will ultimately serve to clarify its goals.

Welcoming the report Diane Coyle, BBC Trust Vice Chairman said: “The BBC must provide audiences everywhere with the content that they love in the ways that they want it, innovating and adapting to the changing technological landscape and to audience demands.”

As the BBC looks to adjust its terrestrial offer through the current launch of additional HD services, the report says its decisions will ultimately affect the robustness of the Freeview platform itself.

Savings already identified include the dropping of some regional opt outs from satellite.