White Paper: Review to Look at BBC Commercial Operations

Ofcom is to become responsible for regulating the BBC which will include ensuring that the BBC’s commercial subsidiaries trade fairly, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s White Paper published today says.

A single unitary board, collectively responsible for everything the BBC does, for delivering against the public purposes and other obligations of the Charter, and for acting in the public interest, will be introduced and Ofcom will become the external regulator for the BBC.

The White Paper says that the new Charter will: “Require a review of the BBC’s commercial operations. The BBC has three commercial subsidiaries, including two (Global News and Studioworks) that have been loss-making in recent years.

“The unitary board will be required to assess the extent to which these commercial operations promote the public interest and deliver value for money for the BBC. Ofcom will be given powers to ensure that the BBC’s commercial subsidiaries trade fairly.”

The new Charter w ill require the BBC to be more transparent and “require the BBC’s new unitary board to ensure that the BBC is transparent and efficient in how it spends its funding,” the White Paper says.