BBC Trust publishes report on BBC Distribution costs: told to be "more transparent"

The BBC has "broadly agreed" with an independent report investigating the cost of distributing BBC services.

The report from Mediatique, commissioned by the BBC Trust, recommended that the Corporation should be "more transparent in the way it reports its distribution costs and total costs should be published in the Annual Report as a percentage of the licence fee."

The BBC was also told in the report that it should "ensure that traditional as well as online distribution is represented at board level and that its participation in free to air platforms should be reviewed along with a regular independent benchmarking of distribution costs" and that "the BBC should ensure that information on key industry trends and developments and data gathered on consumer behaviour is better shared across the organisation."

Specifically with regards free-to-air TV, the report said " 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 to licence-fee payers."


The report, part of the BBC Trust's work to see whether the BBC is providing value for money, also acknowledges the work the BBC has done to maximise efficient use of digital terrestrial television spectrum, with the change of its standard definition TV multiplex to the bandwidth expanding 64QAM configuration at digital switchover and the migration of its second multiplex to the DVB-T2 Freeview HD standard.

The BBC Trust will now work with the Executive on the report's recommendations to develop a plan to monitor the BBC's distribution performance in the future, and will also be scrutinising the BBC's self-imposed 10 per cent ceiling for distribution costs to ensure that it is set at the right level to support the BBC's requirements.



Figures from the review of BBC Distribution
10%

The maximum percentage of licence fee income received to be spent on Distribution and Marketing.
£233m

Or 6.5% of licence fee income: the cost of distributing the BBC’s TV, radio and online services on different platforms in the year ending March 2013.
0.2p
The cost per viewer per hour to distribute BBC One .
4.9p

The cost per viewer per hour to distribute BBC Parliament (higher cost due to fewer viewers watching the channel).
£401m
BSkyB’s transmission costs, as published in BSkyB’s annual report 2013.
£0
The cost for the BBC to have its services listed on Virgin Media and YouView.
£6,000
The cost, per year, of listing a BBC Radio station on the Freesat EPG.
£37,500
The cost, per year, of listing one BBC regional or national variant of BBC One or BBC Two on the Freesat EPG.
£75,000
The cost, per year, of listing one BBC TV channel (that is not a regional variant in the 900s) on the Freesat EPG.
£10,000,000
The annual amount the BBC paid for Sky’s Platform Contribution Charge until July 2012.
£6,500,000
The annual amount the BBC paid for Sky’s Platform Contribution Charge from 1 July 2012.
£4,700,000

The annual amount the BBC paid for Sky’s Platform Contribution Charge once iPlayer had been added to Sky On Demand.
£3,000,000
+
£1,400,000
The annual amount the BBC paid for Sky’s Platform Contribution Charge plus EPG listing costs for all BBC services on Sky and regionalisation services from July 2014.
£6,000,000

Share of the operating costs of YouView (2012/2013). Reports suggest the BBC is to reduce its stake in YouView shortly.






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