broadcasters will wish to join. As set out above, the response to the consultation adds
considerable weight to this view.
We also noted that Fathom and the Trust Unit agreed that there would be benefits for
customers through the introduction of greater product choice, increased promotion of free
satellite services, and lower prices.
(d) Contribution to "Digital Britain"
We considered the research conducted by BBC management and the direct experience of
both Governors and Trust Members in their dealings with licence fee payers. It was clear tous that current limited access to BBC digital services was an issue of great concern to
licence fee payers, particularly those unable to receive Freeview. We have good grounds for
the view that many such people would take up a non-subscription offer if it was available
(experience in those areas that are covered by Freeview bears this out, as does the
consultation finding that 86% of respondents believe that the proposals are valuable to alllicence fee payers). We considered that thiswould lead both to higher take-up, and earlier
take-up of digital services. The matters set out in the section above dealing with the best
interests of licence fee payers are also of relevance to our view.
7 Risk – both financial and reputational –
arising from the proposition
BBC management made available to us a detailed risk assessment. We were satisfied that
this work identified the relevant risks and that BBC management had devised appropriate
means for managing and mitigating the risks identified. We were satisfied that the overall
risk profile, both in financial and reputational terms for the BBC, was acceptable.
We have taken into account that there is no guarantee that the proposition will be
successful and that this can be affected by matters such as those identified by Fathom
Partners if availability of HD output is not approved. We consider, however, that this risk
must be balanced against the considerable public value we have identified, which has been
further reinforced through the consultation process, and the relatively low cost of the
proposition. This is in the context of the potential detrimental effect on public value whichwould result from further time being taken to commence work on the initial stages of the
proposition. In our view, these matters provide strong justifications for approving the
proposition while taking account of this potential risk.
Sunday, 10 February 2008
BBC TRUST FREESAT CONCLUSION.
AS REPORTED BY THE BBC TRUST IN APRIL 2007.