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Radiocentre: Radio 1 TV service should have been scrutinised in BBC consultation

The industry body representing commercial radio has called for Radio 1's iPlayer TV service to be scrutinised after claims the service has increased in volume beyond what was promised.

Radiocentre's comments were published as part of the BBC Trust's announcement regarding changes to BBC TV services. It felt that the growing extent of the Radio 1 iPlayer service and its potential to overlap with the revamped BBC Three Online service should have been covered in the recent public consultations.

Radiocentre says that the Radio 1 TV service now uploads more than the promised 20 videos a month and also includes items of "questionable public service value", such as a "one hour expose on One Direction" and a "promotional film for the film Minions." The submission to the BBC Trust also claims that daytime Radio 1 shows are "obliged to produce regular video features, such as Greg James’ video spoofs and Scott Mills’ ‘innuendo bingo’ game."

Siobhan Kenny,  Chief Executive of the Radiocentre, told the BBC Trust: 
"I note that Ofcom previously advised that the Public Value Test on BBC TV changes (regarding BBC1+1, BBC Three, BBC iPlayer and CBBC) would be an ‘opportunity for the Trust to revisit the framework within which the iPlayer operates and develops…(as) the changes relating to BBC Three would be likely to interact with the Proposals considered…(and) a series of separate smaller changes may have a cumulative effect in the way… younger audiences interact with the BBC, with implications for the effect on providers of other services. Therefore I would have expected Radio 1 iPlayer to be considered within one of the two versions of this consultation, due to the nature of the subject matter and its obvious overlap with on online only BBC Three. "

And the BBC Trust's decision not to include the effect of the BBC Radio 1 TV service on iPlayer in its overall assessment of changes to how the BBC serves younger audiences was branded "surprising, considering the extent to which the channel has expanded the potential impact on commercial and BBC services."

The BBC Trust hasn't made any reference to these concerns in its final verdict on BBC TV changes, which will see BBC Three become an online-only service in the new year.


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