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UK Free TV Trends

Keep up with the daily developments that effect free TV in the UK. This list is updated often - you can follow Briantist on Twitter for update Tweets, or use your RSS reader (such a Firefox or Google Reader) with this feed - UK Free TV Trends RSS feed.

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And here are the daily recommendations for developments with Freeview, Freesat, Freesat from Sky, Digital radio, free HD and online viewing. Summaries are done by Clipped-Your articles and documents summarized

Monday 06 July 2015, PM link icon  BBC to foot bill for over-75 licences
6 July 2015 Last updated at 1703 The BBC will have to bear the cost of providing the over-75s with free television licences, the culture secretary has confirmed. On Sunday, chancellor George Osborne told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that the BBC should make a 'contribution' towards the deficit. - link icon  Role of broadcasting in the internet age | informitv
Public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom continues to deliver but needs to evolve as the trend towards online viewing grows. In its latest review the regulator Ofcom questions whether the benefits intended to support public service broadcasting will remain effective in the internet age. It notes the rapid changes over recent years may mark a fundamental shift in audience attitudes and consumption.It is the third review that Ofcom has conducted of public service television broadcasting. The last was published in 2009 and was concerned with issues such as the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. Since then there have been significant changes in the broadcasting landscape, not least with the emergence of new ways of watching television.Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, said: “More people are watching online or on demand, and this presents challenges as well as opportunities for public service broadcasters. They must continue to find new ways of connecting with audiences, and the PSB system needs to evolve to ensure it remains effective in the digital age.” -

Monday 06 July 2015, AM link icon  Can cuts let the BBC seize the narrative?
Briefings from government quotSourcesquot to the effect that regulation of the corporation will be handed to Ofcom, that the BBC will be landed with paying for over-75s' licence fees or in any event quotCut down to sizequot are almost always contradicted by other government quotSourcesquot. Off the back of a licence fee frozen since 2010 with hundreds of millions required to be spent on S4C, broadband rollout, World Service etc - amounting, Hall said recently, to a 26 cut in resources for its UK domestic public services - the BBC is rightly fearful of further costly incursions. -

Saturday 04 July 2015, AM link icon  Digital One boosts DAB coverage
Halfway through 2015, national commercial DAB digital radio multiplex operator Digital One has issued an update on its network expansion. A transmitter at Warren Heath, serving the Ipswich and Felixstowe area was brought into service at the end of May. Two further transmitter sites will be added to the Digital One network by the end of 2015. -

Friday 03 July 2015, PM link icon  BBC run efficiently, PwC review finds
The auditor has found that the BBC's overheads are currently 7.6, while the likes of government departments and charities had a ratio of 10. It indicates that the BBC 'is more efficient than the average organisation' it was compared to. A BBC target is to get overheads down to 7 by 2016/17, a percentage that would put it in the top quarter, according to the benchmark used by PwC. PwC's efficiency review compared the BBC to a peer group that included some government departments, large charities and regulated telecoms and utilities. -

Friday 03 July 2015, AM link icon  BBC3: producers call on culture secretary to launch review into closure
The pair submitted a pound100m plan to buy BBC3, including a pledge to significantly increase programming spend by about 20, which they say was unfairly dismissed by BBC management and the BBC Trust. quotWhat is galling is haven't they even tried to explore the alternatives. The BBC does all sorts of deals. The Radio Times has a BBC logo on it and that got sold off. They sold off part of BBC America to AMC. But they don't even talk to their partners at UKTV and BBC Worldwide about BBC3.quot. -

Thursday 02 July 2015, PM link icon  Only half of young people watch live TV, according to Ofcom
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said that an increasing number of people do not watch live television and so do not need to pay the licence fee The BBC is seeking a modernised licence fee which covers quotCatch-upquot viewing when negotiations with ministers over a new Royal Charter begin. The BBC announcement means that three layers of management will be cut, while some of the BBC's divisions will be reduced. - link icon  Ofcom: Sky and Virgin retransmission fees plan difficult to regulate
The media regulator did admit that Sky and Virgin benefit hugely from getting channels for no charge - the lion's share of total viewing on their pay-TV services is of PSB channels. quotOfcom recognises the value that PSB channels bring to pay-TV platforms,quot it said. -

Wednesday 01 July 2015, PM link icon  Chris Bryant warns over BBC cuts
The Conservative government is at risk of ruining Britain's quotStrongest cultural institutionquot by demanding more cuts from the BBC, according to shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant. The Treasury is understood to be considering whether it can insist that the BBC foots the bill for the pound700m-a-year charge of providing free television for the over-75s. If non-payment of the pound145.50-a-year licence fee is decriminalised - an idea which has cross-party support - the BBC could end up with a further pound200m bill. - link icon  TV industry is 'hideously middle class', says Endemol Shine's Tim Hincks
One of the UK's leading TV executives has described the industry as quotHideously middle classquot and called for measures of diversity in broadcasting and production to include class and social mobility. quotIt's an industry-wide problem and it's beyond shows like that. It's got nothing to do with their creative intent or their quality, it is they feel like shows made by middle class people about working class people. The reason that makes us feel uncomfortable is because it's true. -

Wednesday 01 July 2015, AM link icon  Less than half of UK adults are aware ads fund free content online
The study offered some hope that web companies could change their advertising to stop people using ad blockers. Only just over half of those using blockers saying they wanted to remove all ads. -

Tuesday 30 June 2015, PM link icon  BBC aims to become 'leaner and simpler' with new round of job cuts
Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, said David Cameron had threatened during the election campaign that he would quotClose them down after the electionquot Considered whether to insist that the BBC pay for the pound700m-a-year charge of providing free television for the over 75s. Currently funded by the Treasury, the BBC governors threatened to resign the last time this was mooted in 2010. Examined decriminalising non-payers of the pound145.50-a-year licence fee, which the BBC estimates would cost it a further pound200m. Debated whether to impose a new governance structure in charter renewal negotiations in which the BBC Trust would be closed to make way for external regulation from communications regulator Ofcom or a new organisation dubbed quotOfbeebquot. - link icon  The new season on BBC Radio 4 unveiled
A number of new commissions for BBC Radio 4 have been revealed at an event in London on Monday night with BBC Director General Tony Hall and station Controller Gwyneth Williams. quotI am excited by the line-up of ambitious programmes and amazing talent that will be on Radio 4 this autumn. I want especially to welcome the gifted young comedian and actor - already a Radio 4 favourite - Miles Jupp, as our new presenter of The News Quiz. We will miss the fabulous Sandi Toksvig but I know that her legacy will be safe with Miles. - link icon  Ministers urged to intervene as BBC under threat of losing of Olympics coverage rights
In a major blow to the BBC, which styled itself as the quotHome of Gamesquot during the 2012 London Olympics when it screened 2,500 hours of live action, the broadcaster will now have to negotiate a licensing deal with Discovery if it is to extend 60 years of continuous coverage of the Games. Discovery could quotSublicensequot limited live coverage to commercial, free-to-air UK broadcasters, including ITV and Channel 4, which already screens the Paralympics, ending the BBC's longstanding association with the Games. - link icon  BBC Trust publishes provisional conclusions on proposed changes to BBC television and onli…
The BBC Trust has today published its provisional conclusions on the BBC Executive's proposals to reinvent BBC Three as an online-only service, launch a 1 channel for BBC One evolve BBC iPlayer and extend the hours of CBBC. Provisional conclusions on proposed changes to BBC television and online services. quotWe know young audiences are already moving towards the online future, but we do recognise that in the short term some of them will feel the immediate impact of the BBC Three proposals. We are therefore asking the BBC for commitments to ensure it uses the full range of its television services to better serve young people and others who make up BBC Three's audience. -

Monday 29 June 2015, PM link icon  DCMS: no plans to move C4 to Birmingham
The Department for Culture Media and Sport has “no plans” to relocate Channel 4 out of London after reports emerged that a move to Birmingham was under consideration.A report in The Telegraph on Saturday suggested that the government was eyeing a sale of the broadcaster’s Horseferry Road headquarters, raising a potential £85m.C4 would then be relocated, with the Midlands and Manchester named as potential new homes. The BBC and ITV already have bases in Salford’s Media City.Were it to go ahead, such a move would represent an alternative to the plans to privatise C4 - which are said to be being considered by culture secretary John Whittingdale – and help the publicly-owned broadcaster to further stimulate the regional TV industry.. - link icon  Discovery snatches Olympic Games rights
The BBC will lose control over the TV rights to the Olympic Games from 2022 after Discovery struck a €1.3bn (£920m) deal to broadcast the event across 50 European territories.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced that the US broadcasting giant has landed the exclusive TV and online rights to the Olympics and Winter Olympics across Europe from 2018 to 2024.Rights in the UK are handled on a different timetable to some of Europe, meaning the BBC will not be impacted until the Winter Olympics in 2022. It holds exclusive UK rights to the Games up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 under a deal it struck with the IOC in 2012.As part of Discovery’s deal, it has committed to broadcasting a minimum of 200 hours of the summer Games and 100 hours of the winter Games on free-to-air television.Discovery could choose to do this in the UK by launching a free-to-air Eurosport channel, putting the rights on its existing Freeview station Quest or sub-licencing the Games to another broadcaster.- link icon  London Live makes £12m loss
quotWe launched a quality channel after building the complete broadcasting chain from scratch and our agile approach during our first year has seen us evolve the channel, focusing investment on the most popular programming and ensuring a financially sustainable cost base for the business,quot said Tim Kirkman, chief operating officer at London Live. London Live said its May audience figures put it quotMarginally behindquot Sky 1, but in London attracted more viewers than channels including 5USA, UKTV's Watch, Sky News, ITVBe and Comedy Central. -

Sunday 28 June 2015, PM link icon  Is TV putting its money where its mouth is on diversity?
The BBC's diversity adviser Lady Grey-Thompson put the cat among the pigeons last week when she said the BBC may have to spend around pound100m if it wants to achieve true diversity. He suggested ringfencing money for BAME shows and setting targets adapted from a BBC model used to increase programmes from the nations and regions by 400. Albury says quotIt's an ingenious solution and it worked for regional programming.quot He calls the BBC's diversity fund quotDerisoryquot and says it was quotAbout on-screen representationquot - more needs to be done behind the scenes and in putting people from BAME backgrounds in positions of power quotThe figure Tanni Grey-Thompson talked about would drive the diversity of BAME employment. -

Saturday 27 June 2015, PM link icon  BBC unveils plans for radio revolution
26 June 2015 Last updated at 1215 The BBC is planning to triple the amount of radio hours open to competition from indies under new 'compete or compare' proposals unveiled on Thursday. The new approach would phase out the quota over a six-year period, with the result that around 60 percent of eligible network radio hours will have been opened up to competition. - link icon  Government denies decision made on Ofcom replacing BBC Trust
The forthcoming green paper on the BBC is likely to call for the abolition of the BBC Trust without backing an alternative regulator, according to sources close to the government. Within a few months of her appointment, the chair of the trust, Rona Fairhead, indicated it was not fit for purpose and that its powers should be transferred to an external body dedicated to regulating the BBC. The Telegraph reported that ministers had rejected that option and were instead planning an expanded role for Ofcom, which already acts as the regulator for commercial TV. A report in February on the future of the BBC from the select committee chaired by the now-culture and media secretary John Whittingdale was sharply critical of the trust, suggesting that a unitary board allied with an external regulator might be a better option. -

Friday 26 June 2015, PM link icon  BBC\'s future to be examined in a green paper this summer
According to last year's BBC annual report Worldwide returned pound174m to the BBC in 2013/14 so privatising it would reduce the corporation's income. There has been some concern within the BBC that there could be something about the corporation in the chancellor's budget on 8 July and that the charter renewal process and licence fee settlement could become caught up in a government spending review, as the licence fee deal was in 2010. - link icon  BBC could be made to pay for the £600m cost of free TV licences itself, George Osborne sa…
Read more BBC's Tony Hall The Tories won't close us downMPs set to debate BBC licenceBBC boss Tony Hall TV licence fee will last another 10 years. The new Culture Secretary is a well-known critic of the licence fee, and of alleged political bias in the BBC, but in a recent interview Mr Whittingdale said quotIt never was the case that I was going in to go to war with the BBC.quot. -

Wednesday 24 June 2015, PM link icon  BBC turns on five more DAB radio transmitters
The roll-out not only serves new areas but also improves coverage in areas already served. Haydon Bridge and parts of Haltwhistle Campbeltown and surrounding areas Brandon and areas of the Brecks Ipswich and surrounding areas Port St Mary and surrounding areas on the Isle of Man. -

Wednesday 24 June 2015, AM link icon  Local TV rollout delay 'unjustified'
Licences for Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Stratford-upon-Avon would not be advertised until at least next year, regulator Ofcom revealed last week. Licences to run channels in 10 other areas will not be re-advertised until at least next year. - link icon  The BBC\'s launched an app for its youth-friendly Newsbeat service
Available for Android and iOS, the BBC Newsbeat app brings news from around the world as well as updates on social trends, entertainment, gaming, student life and more. Read next BuzzFeed's news app gives you the latest without the fluff. -

Tuesday 23 June 2015, PM link icon  Portsmouth to get new DAB services
quotHighbury College prides itself on being a cutting edge educational establishment, and we are excited to showcase our student led radio service JAMM Radio to digital radio listeners in Portsmouth. We look forward to working with local broadcasters to broaden choice available to radio listeners. quotWith nearly half of adults nationally having access to a DAB digital radio, being on DAB digital radio in addition to FM, will enable our unique local programming to be heard in Portsmouth on as many radios as possible. - link icon  Local TV licences not yet advertised
Licences to run local TV channels in 13 areas will not be advertised or re-advertised until at least next year. Originally, 47 licences were due to have been awarded or advertised by early last year. - link icon  Growing resentment of pay television
The Digitalsmiths quarterly video trends survey of over 3,000 consumers in the United States and Canada found that 3.1 of respondents planned to switch their television service in the next six months, while 7.5 said they would change their service and 4.8 said that they would cut their television service altogether. Despite a 5 year on year increase in awareness it suggests that service providers are still failing to market their television everywhere services effectively. - link icon  Young people still watch television
The research, based on industry data from 2014, including BARB, comScore and Ofcom, shows that television viewing, across live, playback and the video on demand services of broadcasters, dominates the viewing of all ages. Playback of recorded programmes and broadcaster video on demand services contribute a further 16 of all viewing, while discs add another 9. Together, these sources account for three quarters of all video viewing. -

Monday 22 June 2015, PM link icon  Tony Hall: household levy a very interesting idea
Tony Hall has suggested he is open to exploring the German household levy as a means of funding the BBC.The director general told The Andrew Marr Show that the licence fee has another decade of life, but repeated views in a Broadcast interview last week, explaining that reform is needed to the funding mechanism.This includes extending the licence fee to cover catch up viewing on iPlayer. Hall added that the household levy is a “very interesting idea”, but said he was unsure how it will work in practice.“There is a broad agreement that the licence fee needs to be reformed in some sort of way… it could be a household tax, I don’t know whether that works or not, ” the director general told Marr.Hall was speaking a day after John Whittingdale gave his first interview as culture secretary. - link icon  Digital Radio's summer campaign launches
A number of radio stations across the UK are now broadcasting Digital Radio UK's summer advertising campaign. The BBC is also mounting a major TV and radio promotional push for the England v Australia Ashes which runs from 8 July to 25 August with radio commentary running exclusively on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra. - link icon  Radio indies not happy with BBC Trust Review
Managing Director Will Jackson told RadioToday quotThree independent analyses of the indie radio sector in the last 16 months have recommended that the BBC should significantly grow opportunities for indies to produce radio content. We are therefore disappointed that the Trust has not gone further and clearly recommended a substantial increase in opening up the radio schedules to indies. quotWe note the report makes recommendations that for BBC Television, the in-house production guarantee should be reduced or removed, and that the BBC strengthen its working with indie TV producers in the nations and regions - we will be working to see that emulated in radio. - link icon  Time is running out for the 30-second TV commercial
A study last year by Arris showed that 84 of respondents wanted to fast forward through the ads they watch, while 60 of them download or record shows so they can skip commercials. What sort of brand message is appropriate today What can a brand do to get its message across to consumers in this new media environment without giving up the massive reach that TV commercials can bring - link icon  BBC director-general Tony Hall: The Tories won\'t close us down
The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, said that sources on an election battle bus had told him the Prime Minister had described a BBC story as quotRubbishquot and went on to say quotI'm going to close them down after the election. quotI put a cap on that at pound150,000 in the first couple of months and that must continue,quot he said, adding that while the BBC now wants to cap them at pound125,000, the Government was aiming for pound95,000. -

Saturday 20 June 2015, PM link icon  but why doesn\'t it press the sceptics?
On Thursday, eurosceptic MPs tabled an amendment to the referendum bill designed to establish a regulator to ensure balance in the BBC's coverage of the vote on UK membership of the EU. Their implied attack on the BBC is not surprising as the corporation is one of the few mass media outlets with any hope of providing balance given the europhobic stance of many of the best-selling newspapers. When eurosceptics stress the export opportunities available outside the EU, the BBC never asks why membership impedes our global exports, nor points out that an exit would exclude the UK from existing EU trade treaties and that negotiating new ones would take many years. -

Saturday 13 June 2015, PM link icon  Trust to review how BBC uses statistics
11 June 2015 Last updated at 1209 The BBC Trust will examine how the BBC reports statistics in news and current affairs programming, the subject of its latest impartiality review. The review will assess whether the BBC is giving audiences sufficient context and analysis when reporting statistics, and whether it's enough to give them an informed understanding of controversial subjects and areas of public policy. - link icon  Greece\'s state broadcaster ERT back on air after two years
Greece's state broadcaster ERT went back on air on Thursday, two years after being closed down under austerity measures. A concert by ERT's musical ensembles outside the station's headquarters is to be broadcast live on TV and radio this evening, followed by quotThe lost signal of democracyquot - a documentary looking back at events since the previous government decided to close ERT. -

Friday 12 June 2015, PM link icon  Ofcom awards 10 local DAB multiplex trials
In Glasgow, a local mux has been awarded to Scrimshaws ID which will broadcast quotFour or fivequot services including Celtic Music Radio, Pulse FM and a new station called GO Radio. quotStar Radio's Programme Director Simon Nicks is very happy with the announcement, and addsquotThis is a great step forward in bringing the DAB platform to local stations like ours, it also opens up Digital Radio to others such as community stations, expanding choice, which is a healthy thing. -

Tuesday 09 June 2015, PM link icon  Creative industry calls on Trust to #SaveBBC3
Rew Davies - who wrote the Colin Firth adaptation of Pride and Prejudice - and Jimmy McGovern, writer of BBC2's Banished. It adds quotBBC3 has cost the licence fee payer over pound1bn over the last 10 years. Closure will write off this investment, which would be unthinkable in a commercial environment. -

Tuesday 09 June 2015, AM link icon  Industry big guns are \'backing the BBC\'
4 June 2015 Last updated at 1420 Oscar-winning directors, celebrated documentary-makers and hit drama writers are among the supporters of a 'Back the BBC' campaign, launched by Broadcast magazine. Pat Younge, former BBC chief creative officer, who is now MD of Sugar Films, added 'As someone who's lived abroad you come to realise the vital role the BBC plays in keeping the industry and aiming high... You will certainly miss it if it's gone, and by then it will be too late. -

Wednesday 03 June 2015, AM link icon  BBC 'paying prospective scriptwriters the equivalent of £2 an hour'
The BBC is paying writers working on potential scripts for soaps such as EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty as little as the equivalent of pound2 an hour, according to the head of the writers' union. quotWe're proud of our work training and supporting writers through these schemes which have been successful in helping writers to secure commissions on our shows,quot said a BBC spokeman. - link icon  News boss 'astonished' by complaints
The director of news and current affairs said that often it was a politician saying either 'I want more of me on the BBC' or 'my side of the story is the story'. Speaking to VLV members, the news boss believed the BBC delivered on its responsibilities as a public service broadcaster but that there remain some questions. - link icon  Danny Cohen: cuts to BBC revenue would mean a lot less content
BBC TV chief Danny Cohen has suggested programmes would have to be cut if the corporation was forced to bear the costs of free licence fees for the over-75s or decriminalising evasion of the charge. The BBC took on a number of new funding responsibilities in the 2010 licence fee settlement, including the World Service, resulting in its pound700m Delivering Quality First cost-saving programme. -

Tuesday 02 June 2015, PM link icon  BBC news chief: politicians of all parties made threats to funding
The BBC's news chief James Harding has said politicians quotFrom all partiesquot threatened the BBC's future funding because they were unhappy with the corporation's election coverage. The quotHell on wheelsquot comment was made to Harding by the BBC's head of editorial policy David Jordan when the BBC News chief suggested before the election that it would be quotFunquot. -

Tuesday 02 June 2015, AM link icon  Danny Cohen: licence fee cuts will threaten BBC programmes or channels
Previous suggestions have included decriminalising the licence fee, to cut down the lengthy process of prosecutions, and having the BBC take on the pound500m cost of offering free licence fees to the over-75s. The annual bill is currently met by the Department for Work and Pensions. BBC Three, the channel considered aimed at young audience, is already moving online under proposals submitted to the BBC Trust under cost-cutting measures. - link icon  DAB radio changes in Yorkshire as MXR closes
There's no news on other services on MXR such as Radio Yorkshire, UCB Gospel, UCB Inspirational or XFM moving multiplexes yet, meaning some or all of them may no longer be available on DAB in the area once it closes on June 29th. Capital currently covers the whole of Yorkshire on FM, whilst Heart only covers West and South Yorkshire. For full Yorkshire coverage, Capital and Heart would need to join the join the MuxCo's North Yorkshire and UTV's Bradford and Huddersfield multiplexes but no changes have been made public as yet. -

Monday 01 June 2015, PM link icon  Avoiding the television licence
In February the cross-party committee published a report on the 'Future of the BBC'. It concluded quotThere currently appears to be no better alternative to funding the BBC in the near-term other than a hypothecated tax or the licence fee.quot It continued quotHowever, the principle of the licence fee in its current form is becoming harder to sustain given the changes in communication and media technology and changing audience needs and behaviours. So why not simply abolish the television licence entirely and let the government fund the BBC from general taxation, saving around pound100 million a year in collection and enforcement costs -

Sunday 31 May 2015, AM link icon  TV's 'Golden Age' Won't Last Because You're Not Watching Enough
With too many shows chasing too few viewers, say industry executives, most original programs lose money and half the shows now running probably will disappear by next year. Cable networks keep such shows on the air, hoping viewers will eventually find them on demand or in a Netflix afterlife in some cases they renew poorly performing shows because they fear blowback from viewers who've invested in the characters. - link icon  BT switch-off signals the end for traditional pay TV over terrestrial platform
Sky came back two years later with a new basic pay TV service, circumventing Ofcom's regulatory jurisdiction, by launching Now TV as an internet-based service, targeting Freeview homes who wanted low-cost, entry-level pay TV. And the internet ultimately killed off any hope of a multi-channel terrestrial pay TV service cheaper distribution free from the technical, regulatory and coverage constraints of terrestrial TV, along with the ability to provide catch-up TV and vast libraries of on-demand content enabled Sky and new players such as Netflix to provide low cost access to content accessed by the increasing numbers of connected TVs, boxes and dongles. With the ongoing push to connected TV services, helped by the UK's expanding superfast broadband network and new 4G mobile services, plus changes to the number of frequencies allocated to terrestrial TV from the end of the decade and doubts over the platform's existence beyond 2030, the odds are against pay TV services becoming widely distributed over the UK's terrestrial TV airwaves once again. -

Saturday 30 May 2015, PM link icon  Talking TV: BBC campaign Hoff the Record
On the latest Talking TV, Broadcast editor Chris Curtis explains why Broadcast has launched a campaign Backing the BBC and we go behind the scenes of Hoff The Record. -

Saturday 30 May 2015, AM link icon  Broadcasters attack Theresa May's plan to vet TV programmes for extremism
A government plan to strengthen the role of media regulator Ofcom to take quotTough measures against channels that broadcast extremist contentquot was outlined in the Queen's speech last week. quotStephen Whittle, former controller of BBC editorial policy and ex-director of Ofcom forerunner the Broadcasting Standards Commission, saidquotPowers to vet or prevent broadcasts went away with the Independent Broadcasting Authority more than 25 years ago. -

Thursday 28 May 2015, AM link icon  Indies unite to back the BBC
BACKING THE BBC: THE PLEDGEWe believe the licence fee is the best way to fund the BBC and that it should be set at a level that ensures the corporation remains the cornerstone of the successfulBritish creative industries. We support a transparent, accountable and effi cient BBC and believe charter renewal should be conducted openly, giving the creative community and audiences a voice in the broadcaster’s future.

Wednesday 27 May 2015, PM link icon  UKTV prepares Watch re-brand
UKTV is set to re-brand pay-TV channel Watch to appeal to a more female-skewing audience.The multichannel broadcaster is understood to be ramping up the number of original factual entertainment formats which appeal more to women. At the same time it is to reduce its reliance on acquired US dramas.It is believed that UKTV is in talks with external partners over the move, which could include a name change for the channel that launched in October 2008. -

Wednesday 27 May 2015, AM link icon  Daily Mail's attack on 'BBC lefties' doesn't quite stack up
One number the Mail fails to include is how much the Guardian cost, which at pound1.60 was nearly three times the cover price of the weekday Mail. As a BBC source put it quotWe know accusing the BBC of bias is a favourite pastime for some people, but given we bought nearly as many copies of the Mail as the Guardian it's difficult to see how these figures are evidence of it. -

Tuesday 26 May 2015, PM link icon  BT TV channel numbers are changing on 2nd June
Channels currently located between 400-599 are moving to 300-599. Subscription channels are additional channels you pay for. -

Tuesday 26 May 2015, AM link icon  BT TV Review
Paying for the HD Extra bolt-on sees you getting all of the BT Sport channels in high definition, plus channels like FOX HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, Comedy Central HD and MTV HD. Perhaps crucially for sports fans, BT Infinity also opens the doors to the Sky Sports channels - you can get Sky Sports 1 and/or 2 with BT TV which, combined with BT Sport, means you can get the complete run of all Premier League games for the next three seasons. These don't give you any extra channels, but do give you access to content libraries that you can stream on your TV. You can't get the live Sky Movies channels and you don't have the option of watching any non-terrestrial channels in HD. If you've got BT Infinity, then you can order the HD Extra channel pack. - link icon  BBC News Channel schedule changes from 1st June
At 900pm, the two channels will show interactive news show Outside Source with Ros Atkins from Monday to Thursday, giving the BBC World News show its first regular timeslot in the UK - it's previously turned up at short notice during international breaking news coverage in place of the Six O'Clock News on the BBC News Channel. At the weekends, BBC News Channel will join BBC World News for the latest international news in World News Today at 9pm. Together with changes to morning programming made in April with the introduction of the Victoria Derbyshire show, a simulcast with BBC Two, the BBC News Channel's daily rolling news output is effectively reduced to 1100-1800 and 1830-2030, with the last 90 minutes of unique news programming between 2230 and 0000 taken up by two editions of The Papers and Sportsday with the 11pm news sandwiched in-between. -

Friday 22 May 2015, PM link icon  DTG :: News :: The DTG congratulates John Whittingdale MP and Ed Vaizey MP on ministerial …
John Whittingdale has taken a strong interest in the media industry as chair of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee since 2005. He launched the DTG's Future of Innovation in Television Taskforce report at the DTG Summit 2014. - link icon  RAJAR figures on
Want a quick overview of how a radio station's done Search for a radio station like BBC Radio 2, and instantly see how many weekly listeners it has. Discover what kind of music the station plays, and more information including their website, Twitter and Facebook accounts and who the key personnel are at the station. - link icon  Apple Wants Local TV in Its Apple TV Service, Which Means Apple TV Could Be Delayed
Industry executives familiar with Apple's plans say the company wants to provide customers in cities around the U.S. with programming from their local broadcast stations. Apple's pitch to TV networks is that it wants its service to have mass appeal - quotThis is supposed to be for 30 million people,quot says one executive who has talked to Apple - and it believes local TV will be part of that. -

Friday 22 May 2015, AM link icon  Digital radio hits nearly 40% of all listening
Absolute 80s pulled in an average of 1.45 million listeners a week with another 1.25 million tuning into Planet Rock, both owned by Bauer Media, in the first three months of this year, according to Rajar listening figures published on Thursday. Global Radio's Classic FM was up 4.1 year on year to 5.53 million listeners while UTV's TalkSport was up 1.6 to 3.25 million. - link icon  Edinburgh man wins Sky payout after BILLING them £25 an hour for time wasted
'Fobbed off' Mr Swift had two years of frustrations to finally settle his dispute with Sky - who failed to acknowledge he had paid his final bill to Sky and then moved address. Long process Mr Swift's bill included 31 hours and 25 minutes speaking to Sky either on phone or by email, with a further six hours dealing with Mackenzie Hall debt collectors. -

Thursday 21 May 2015, PM link icon  South Africa to start digital migration
Transformation Transformation of the media industry, especially the print media in South Africa, was slow, and little had changed since 1994 when Times Media, Naspers, Caxton and Argus were the big four media houses, Muthambi said. quotAs part of finalising this policy, we will also investigate the possibility of pooling government media assets with a view to support the creation of a black-owned media house in the country.quot Community media Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said it was important for the government to support community media in order to ensure they were able to sustain themselves. - link icon  BBC global audience passes 300 million
The figures, which includes people looking at news content on the BBC's Facebook page and on YouTube for the first time, shows that television has overtaken radio as the most popular platform for BBC international news for the first time. The reach of BBC Global News hit 105 million, with World News TV viewing rising 12 and those turning to for news rising 16. quotThe consumption of branded BBC services across TV, radio and digital platforms speaks to the international appetite for premium content across all the genres for which we are best known - primarily news, but increasingly for drama, factual and entertainment,quot said Tim Davie, chief executive of BBC Worldwide. - link icon  Between A Rock And A Hard Place
The latest research shows that 80 of all 15 year olds in the UK have a smartphone, and that on a smartphone streaming music is the 14th most popular activity, and listening to the radio is 33rd. All that time spent playing Candy Crush, checking your mum hasn't embarrassed you on Facebook or just texting the latest emoji's, means time not tuned into a radio station. We have streaming services trying to be radio stations and radio stations evolving online. - link icon  BBC weekly global audience over 300m
The new figure includes people using Facebook and YouTube to watch BBC content abroad and those who watch BBC Worldwide channels. The same figures show that the BBC's weekly global news audience has increased by 18m, a rise of 7 since last year, taking it to a record-breaking 283m. Television has overtaken radio as the most popular platform for BBC international news for the first time, with 148m watching via TV as opposed to 133m via radio. - link icon  but byzantine 'cable bundle' pricing still has me baffled
What really did my head in, and caused me to pull the plug on my cable television was the utterly incomprehensible nature of what's known as the quotCable bundlequot. The only way to get the teasers and discount rates that make cable affordable, relative to its alternatives is if you are a television addict and/or are happy to subscribe to lots of channels just in case there's a show that pops up on one that you might want to watch down the road. None of these television options seemed very attractive, at least on an absolute basis. -

Wednesday 20 May 2015, PM link icon  BBC freezes recruitment for digital content director
The BBC has called a temporary halt to its hunt for a digital content director after it failed to uncover the required calibre of candidate and to allow incoming executive Emma Swain to clarify the remit of the role.Applications were received for the role, which was first advertised in November alongside the BBC3 digital controller position, before it was removed from the BBC’s internal list of vacancies later that month.. -

Wednesday 20 May 2015, AM link icon  UTV gets extra space for new DAB stations
First Radio Sales will be leaving UTV's London HQ to make extra room for studios for four new stations. UTV Media's COO Scott Taunton said quotIn 2016 UTV will be at the forefront of the biggest expansion in the UK's national radio line-up in a generation. We want to foster a culture of creative excellence and innovation at our national radio business, and the world-class new broadcast centre we're planning to build on London's South Bank will be the first step to achieving that goal. - link icon  HSBC tax scandal: Classic FM and Capital owner Global Radio advised stations not to report…
Peter Oborne resigned from The Telegraph earlier this year Comment The Telegraph only has itself to blame. The Independent has contacted Global Radio for a comment on the situation. -

Monday 18 May 2015, PM link icon  Over-The-Top Streaming Video Services To Surge To 330 Million+ Subscribers By 2019
Consumer adoption of streaming video services is surging, according to a new report by Juniper Research out this morning, which finds that subscriber numbers for services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video will grow from 92.1 million in 2014 to 333.2 million global subscriptions by 2019. Dish Network is running an Internet-based streaming TV service called Sling TV. Juniper also says that the spike in consumer adoption of these streaming video services will be led by growth in North America, but will be closely followed by the Far East, as this region, too, will see new services and increasing consumer interest. - link icon  Pay television in the UK and Ireland
The informitv Multiscreen Index now reports there are 18.50 million pay television customers across the four main providers in the United Kingdom and Ireland. TalkTalk added 82,000 video customers for a total of 1.41 million, while BT TV gained 52,000 video customers to reach 1.14 million. - link icon  Surveying ultra-high-definition benefits
So why is viewing distance relative to screen size important The designed viewing distance for high-definition television is apparently just over three times the screen height. The optimal 'design viewing distance' is apparently 'the distance at which two adjacent pixels subtend an angle of 1 arc-min at the viewer's eye'. - link icon  TV licence loophole exploited by viewers
As a consequence it is not doing everything it can to reduce licence fee evasion such as making iPlayer access - which unlike watching free-to-air broadcast signals can be easily controlled - contingent on owning a TV licence. In the digital age where all online devices have unique addresses and where mobile applications - including the BBC's iPlayer app - identify the devices they send content to - the BBC already has mountains of information it could use to pursue licence fee evaders but chooses not to. -

Monday 18 May 2015, AM link icon  BBC's Diane Coyle: 'Whittingdale, despite the headlines, is a good choice'
quotShe explainsquotIn the Conservative party there are more people who are ideological about the BBC and would want to pare it backquot, but quotI think the government and John Whittingdale are actually quite pragmatic and recognise among the people who vote for them that the BBC has great popularity. quotIf politicians really stop to think about it they recognise independent scrutiny from the BBC, although it can be uncomfortable, serves them better than anything else. All the research I've ever seen says that people, on the whole, like the BBC and want it to carry on and don't want it interfered withI think grown-up politicians will not be daft enough to ignore what people think about it.quot And she thinks that, quotWhittingdale, despite the headlines, is actually a good choice. He's really well-informed. He's a pragmatic, sensible man. He knows people in the independent sector and around the country. - link icon  John Whittingdale, the horror fan putting the frighteners on the BBC
There is no shortage of evidence that Whittingdale will take a tough line on the BBC, having said last year that the licence fee was quotWorse than the poll taxquot because there was no element of subsidy for the low-paid. More top-slicing is likely and there is the possibility that Whittingdale will revisit the idea, which he backed five years ago, of the BBC paying the pound500m cost of free TV licences for the over-75s. If the axeman cometh, then he does so with a cheery smile and a glint in his eye, a man who once said his favourite Star Trek character was The Borg, quotAn alien species which is very similar to the Whips' office a collective consciousness dedicated to the eradication of all other speciesquot. -

Sunday 17 May 2015, PM link icon  BBC Local Radio closes Late Show for East Midlands
The programme, which broadcasts on BBC Radio Nottingham, Derby, Lincolnshire and Leicester, will have its last edition on May 21st. As of May 24th, East Midlands listeners will join the late show broadcast in the West Midlands, on BBC WM, Coventry Warwickshire, Hereford Worcester, Stoke, and Shropshire. Given the BBC's comparatively large local radio sizes, it's likely that he now reaches more potential listeners across BBC Local Radio than he did on the GWR network. - link icon  Shutting down huge pirate sites has no 'positive effect'
To shutdown may actually have made life worse for the authorities quotThe postshutdown market structure was much more fragmented, thus making it potentially more resistant to any future interventions. Consumers might be using more offline resources that are not easily tracked. - link icon  Medium wave transmitters turned off in Berkshire
The original frequency used by Radio 210 from its launch in 1976 is no more, after the AM transmitter broadcasting Smooth Radio to Reading was turned off this weekend. Smooth Radio has been on 1431KHz from Manor Farm since last March, when it took over the old Gold frequencies on medium wave across the country. -

CONTENT FLOW THROUGH THE MOBILE ECOSYSTEM In Association with the Mobile Video Alliance Content Created UK Digital Video Revenues Content items are typically created by a Content Owner or Broadcaster at a Studio and are designed to be shown via a variety of TV and mobile devices. The video asset will typically be delivered by a Content Distribution Network ready to respond to multiple requests from a variety of mobile end users. - link icon  Home
The electronic programme guide on a DAB digital radio will not receive updates from Wednesday 20 May to Sunday 24 May inclusively. The service will resume on Monday 25 May. We apologise to any listeners who will not be able to update their guide. - link icon  Freeview Play first look: Is this the future of contract-free smart TV?
For a closer look at Firefox OS and My Home Screen 2.0, check out our early eyes-onWhen playing around with the Panasonic smart TV, we noticed that there was a Freeview Play icon floating on the Firefox OS main page, providing viewers with yet another window into the Freeview Play suite of connected services. Arqiva, the infrastructure company and Freeview shareholder that manages and distributes Freeview channels, has been busy working on what was described as a 'vanilla' Connected Operator user interface, something that could be adapted to meet Freeview Play's requirements. -

Friday 15 May 2015, AM link icon  Best Freeview and Freesat PVRs 2015
Below we've listed the three best Freetime PVRs and three best Freesat PVRs available right now. See how these PVRs compare with the best of the rest by taking a look at our Best Buy PVR reviews. -

Thursday 14 May 2015, PM link icon  Killing Freemium is the Worst Thing for Artists
Do we really want to go back to an era when a small group of players controlled what most of us heard, and the only way to hear outsider artists was to trade tapes and mix CDs. And now we have easy ways to get free music, for which artists get paid nothing, and that will become the new normal for discovery There are plenty of artists who credit Napster with helping them build their careers-but wouldn't it be better for artists to have something, rather than nothing. If big labels can erase Spotify's free option, what else can they do They all have equity in Spotify as well, so they've hedged their bets and get paid either way-but what about the artists And what about the artists who don't have label deals, or access to legit licensing deals Should they just stay in their own backyard - link icon  Financial Times | BBC iPlayer popularity falls for first time
The popularity of the iPlayer TV service has fallen for the first time, raising questions about the BBC's ability to maintain its position as a pioneer of online video. The iPlayer - which gives users access to the BBC's radio and TV programmes - has been one of the broadcaster'??s biggest success stories, and has become one of the UKs biggest brands since its launch in 2007. -

Wednesday 13 May 2015, PM link icon  London Live chief executive: 'We can't keep propping it up'
Last week, London Live was released from its commitment to increase the number of hours of original, local programming by an hour a day in its second year, and to 10 hours a day in its third year. When pressed on what has gone wrong for London Live, the flagship channel for the Government's plans to boost local news as devised by Jeremy Hunt when he was culture secretary, Auckland was candid. - link icon  BBC Global iPlayer to close in June
The BBC has confirmed the quotGlobalquot version of its iPlayer on-demand service will close next month. The global iPlayer app was first made available as an iOS app in July 2011 but was never extended beyond Apple's platform. - link icon  Digital Radio UK welcomes return of Ed Vaizey
He has been an active supporter of our industry and worked closely with Digital Radio UK to back expansion of local DAB coverage and authorise Ofcom funding for trials of small-scale DAB radio. Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, said quotWe welcome the return of Ed Vaizey as Culture Minister. He is passionate about radio and a great advocate for the sector. Ed's reappointment will ensure strong leadership and continued Government support for delivering UK radio's digital future. -