Sunday, 10 February 2008



6.5 What public value the new proposition might create

As noted above, we did not consider that a full PVT was necessary for our evaluation of this
proposition. We did, however, consider the public value that the “Freesat” proposal might
create and applied the principles underlying the treatment of services as we considered
appropriate in this case. The analysis set out below considers specific matters we consider
relevant to public value and our conclusion on the question of public value.
We considered the proposition against the following key measures of public value: reach;
impact; quality and distinctiveness; and value for money. We considered these to be the
appropriate aspects of public value to explore and evaluate.
(i) ReachIn the context of “Freesat” as a mechanism to allow subscription-free access to the BBC'sServices, we considered reach to mean the extent to which the proposals would facilitate or
increase that access. The market research suggests that whilst “Freesat” would have
national appeal, it would be particularly effective in increasingreach to the BBC’s full range
of services in areas currently unable to receive Freeview. Of the 7 million homes yet to
move from analogue to digital reception, almost half fall outside the area where Freeview
coverage is available12. As with other satellite-based services, coverage for the free satellite
proposition would be much greater than is the case for Freeview, opening up new
alternatives to those licence fee payers unable to receive Freeview.
This evidence is reinforced by the response to our consultation. Whilst 86% thought the
proposals would be valuable to all licence fee payers, an even higher proportion – 93% -
considered them valuable to licence fee payers unable to access Freeview. One respondent
commented “PSB Freesat will enable licence fee payers outside Freeview coverage areas to
switch to digital TV without having to wait for DTT coverage to expand. They will be able
to enjoy the same benefits now as those living in Freeview areas”.
We found that these views were consistent with the direct experiences of the BBC
Governors referred to earlier through their contacts with licencefee payers at public
meetings and engagement with audiences through the Broadcasting Councils and the English
National Forum.
(ii) ImpactIn assessing impact we have had regard to clause 25(2)(a) of the Agreement which defines
impact as “the extent to which the change is likely to affect relevant issues and others.”
Based on our consideration of how the proposition would be in the best interests of licence
fee payers and create public value, our viewis that the proposition would be valued by
licence fee paying users. The response to our consultation has firmly endorsed this view.
We consider that an additional means of access to 6 of the BBC’s 8 TV channels, 3 of its 11network radio services and the BBCi service, along with a substantial range of other digital
services from other broadcasters will have asignificant positive impact on licence fee payers
12 Ibid note 5, section 4.2.9.

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