in addition, taking a leading role in the switchover to digital television“13. In the Agreement
it is stated that the “BBC must do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that viewers,
listeners and other users (as the case may be) are able to access the UK Public Services that
are intended for them”14.
We asked, as part of our consultation, whether the proposals were consistent with the
public purposes of the BBC. 93% of respondents thought that they were.
We have concluded that the BBC's two main stated objectives are consistent both with the
overall objectives set by the Governors for BBC management and with the BBC’s Public
Purposes, particularly those set out above. We are also satisfied that the proposition will
contribute to other BBC objectives. In particular, increasing the choices open to licence fee
payers for accessing the full range of BBC services will lead to an increase in the reach and
accessibility of the BBC, particularly in those areas unable to receive Freeview. We have
concluded that the proposition put to us is consistent with the BBC’s public service remit
and that it will make a positive contribution in relation to the specific objectives set by the
Governors (which as noted remain in place) and to the BBC’s Public Purposes.
In reaching the above conclusions we have also taken into account generally the wider
matters set out in these provisional conclusions and we have also had regard to the Trust's
duties under the Charter and the Agreement (particularly the duties in Article 23).
6.7 The competitive impact of the proposals on the wider
The propositionhas been assessed against the current approvals framework and
requirements of the existing Fair Trading regime. The “Freesat” proposition does not
specifically address whether the requirements currently expressed in the draft Competitive
Impact Policy Statement are met (the draft competitive impact policy paper has not been
formally adopted by the Trust pending consultation and was not in place at the time that the
“Freesat” proposition was put forward). Taking these matters into account, and our viewthat it is integral to the public value of the proposition that, if approved, it is implemented
within an urgent timescale, our view is that we should not attempt to apply the draft
Competitive Impact Policy Statement in the specific circumstances in which we have
considered the “Freesat” proposition. We have, however, taken into account the market
impact of the proposition as set out below and we specifically invited consultation responses
on this issue, which we have taken into account in our final decision. The Trust also
received privileged legal advice on the “Freesat” proposition's compliance with competition
law (including state aid law). We concluded on the basis of this advice that the “Freesat”
proposition is compliant.
We have also concluded that in order to ensure that the proposition remains compliant withcompetition law and state aid requirements, we should impose as a condition of our
approval a requirement that the funding arrangements for the participation of other
13 Article 4(f)
14 Clause 12(1)
Sunday, 10 February 2008
BBC TRUST FREESAT CONCLUSION.
AS REPORTED BY THE BBC TRUST IN APRIL 2007.