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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

Wednesday 02 September 2015, AM link icon  Labour's Jeremy Corbyn vows to reverse BBC cuts
Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to protect the licence fee and reverse BBC funding cuts in a policy document on the arts.The MP for North Islington said the corporation is “under threat” from the Conservative government and Labour must lead a campaign to keep it strong.“The BBC is a unique asset that defines our country,” Corbyn’s document said. “Government must support a strong, independent and properly funded BBC so it can carry out its duties as a public service broadcaster.”It added that the corporation was “severely wounded” by the 2010 licence fee freeze and a well-funded news operation should remain at the heart of its offering to audiences both in the UK and overseas through the World Service.- link icon  Global's radio stations now link DAB/FM together
The new technology will allow drivers radios to automatically switch between different local radio stations that are part of the same network. The technology has been developed and implemented by Global and Arqiva so that both digital radio receivers and FM receivers automatically transition between different Heart, Capital and Smooth local stations, picking up the best DAB or FM signal available and automatically switching over to the next transmission area as a driver passes from one area to the next. -

Tuesday 01 September 2015, AM link icon  Netflix Losing Flicks: Why It's Actually Smart to Shed ‘Hunger Games,' Other Epix Movies…
Netflix calls itself an Internet TV subscription service and compares itself to HBO and so, by extension, it's also really a competitor to Epix. Netflix decided a while ago it doesn't want sloppy seconds to pay TV. Yes, non-exclusive library content is important to buttress the proposition that there will always be something to watch in your Netflix queue, including TV and movie favorites. -

Monday 31 August 2015, PM link icon  TV Networks Confront Ad Blockers Erasing Commercials Online began blocking the blockers in 2013, preventing visitors using the software from streaming episodes of shows. CBS Interactive sites fall in line with industry estimates for ad blocking more broadly, Mr. Morris said, with anywhere from 5 to 40 of users arriving with ad blocking software. -

Monday 31 August 2015, AM link icon  Media Monkey: Martin Freeman, Armando Iannucci, and Frankie Boyle
Monkey's awkward moment of the festival when culture secretary John Whittingdale looked around and realised that all around him were getting to their feet to give a standing ovation to Armando Iannucci's MacTaggart speech in which he accused ministers of effectively trying to kill off the BBC. Ever politically astute, Whittingdale also stood up. Things got a bit heated during the Is the BBC Under Siege session, when Hat Trick co-founder Jimmy Mulville challenged BBC director of strategy James Purnell about the decision to make BBC3 online only. - link icon  Manchester small-scale DAB service launched
Chris Country, Gaydio, The Steve Penk Wind-Up Channel, Revolution 962 and Unity Radio are now broadcasting across the city, whilst Manchester Business Radio is running a pre-launch promotional sequence ahead of its full launch on 21st September. MAX - a new format devised by former BBC Radio Manchester boss John Ryan is scheduled to launch on Tuesday followed by London Greek Radio on Wednesday and Panjab Radio on Thursday. -

Saturday 29 August 2015, PM link icon  Chris Bryant says passing cost of free licences to BBC is 'spiteful' attack
Labour's Chris Bryant has challenged the culture secretary's claim that passing the cost of TV licences for over-75s to the BBC was purely driven by the need to reduce the national deficit, arguing that the government has pledged to clear it before the corporation even takes on the full 750m burden. Osborne said Whittingdale's letter stating the terms of the deal shows the government will support the BBC with 468m toward the 750m cost in 2018/19, then 247m in 2019/2020, before the corporation takes on the full burden in 2020/2021. - link icon  BBC3 should follow Radio 1 in focusing on social media, says Google boss
BBC 3 is scheduled to go online only at the start of 2016, but the decision to take the youth-oriented channel off the airwaves has been criticised at a time when the BBC is trying to work out how to engage younger audiences. The strategy has involved creating a dedicated space on iPlayer for visual content from Radio 1, and posting to YouTube and other social media. - link icon  Tony Hall a 'coward' for not challenging John Whittingdale, says Chris Bryant
- link icon  Lord Burns said to be examining options for Channel 4 sale
Lord Burns, the chair of Channel 4, is understood to be looking at options for a partial or full sell-off of the broadcaster as the government considers the sale of state assets to help reduce its budget deficit. Rumours about the possible privatisation of Channel 4 have re-emerged since the Shareholder Executive, which manages the government's ownership of the broadcaster as well as the Royal Mint, nuclear fuel company Urenco and other assets, was moved from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to the Treasury. - link icon  Tycoon takeover puts Euronews funding in focus – POLITICO
Euronews is the European Union's biggest media commitment, having received 240 million from Brussels since it launched in 1992 - with 25.5 million pouring into its coffers in 2014, a third of the network's budget. In recent years, Euronews suffered funding constraints as the public broadcasters scaled back their commitment, making it more reliant on European taxpayers. - link icon  UTV reports pre-tax profits of 1m: Results down from 10m a year earlier
UTV Ireland had revenue of 4.9m - more than wiped out by an operating loss of 7.5m - while revenue for the Northern Ireland TV operation was 4.2m. And the company's chairman said the budget deadlock in Northern Ireland was likely to have an impact on TV advertising revenues in its Belfast-based channel over the next few months. Overall revenue at the plc - one of just three listed companies in Northern Ireland - was 58.3m. Operating profit was 2.5m, down from 11.1m a year earlier. - link icon  Caribbean TV for Freeview |
Arqiva has announced the launch of a new hybrid IPTV channel on the Freeview platform. ABN TV, the African-Caribbean family entertainment channel, will provide content 24 hours a day to audiences with internet-enabled Freeview devices. -

Thursday 27 August 2015, PM link icon  BBC boss: Whittingdale has 'laid to rest' charter renewal concerns
BBC head of strategy and digital James Purnell has stood by the corporation’s defensive response to the government’s green paper - but admitted that the culture secretary’s latest remarks had “changed the mood of the debate”.In July, the corporation said the government’s document on charter renewal would herald a “much diminished, less popular” BBC, which Purnell said was an appropriate response to what appeared to be a threat to its future.During a panel debate on the future of the BBC at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Purnell said: “If you look at all the context of the green paper there was a legitimate question around the intentions of the government, John has now laid that to rest”. -

Thursday 27 August 2015, AM link icon  Sinclair Fight With Dish Could Spur Action on TV Blackouts
Sinclair blocked Dish customers' access to 129 stations in 79 markets on Tuesday, Dish said in a statement. Dish in a filing with the FCC said Sinclair unfairly coordinated negotiations for stations the broadcaster doesn't own. -

Wednesday 26 August 2015, PM link icon  John Whittingdale claims he is not 'dismantling the BBC' and that it's future is not under…
BBC sympathiser Dame Judi Dench The decision to make the BBC cover the cost of providing free licences to the over-75s and the consultation on the broadcaster's future role has prompted high-profile sympathisers, from Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Fry to former Tory minister Lord Fowler, to warn of the consequences of damaging the BBC. Similar sentiments were voiced last night by Armando Iannucci, in a lecture at the festival. Read more BBC wanted to make royal epic but 'could not compete' with Netflix financiallyBBC experiment finds licence fee completely justified and 'incredibly good value'. - link icon  Whittingdale: Channel 4 privatisation 'not under discussion' but not ruled out
Whittingdale said a sale of Channel 4 was not currently being discussed, but said whatever its future, its remit to cater for minority audiences and take risks must not change. The question comes in the wake of several reports in July that the government is considering proposals to privatise Channel 4, which is state-owned but supported by advertising, in a move that could raise more than 1bn to aid deficit reduction. - link icon  Unless you want TV by diktat, defend the BBC
Here's the thing that's exactly how the BBC worked some 15, maybe 10 years ago. Let's stop playing games, let's talk properly, and honestly, about what we value and want to preserve in the BBC. The question shouldn't be how do we cut it down to size, but why should we. - link icon  BBC considers replacing news channel with mobile streaming service
The BBC is thought to be considering whether to close the channel as it looks for ways to cut costs, and the corporation's head of news, James Harding, on Wednesday refused to say whether it would still exist in 10 years. Speaking on the same panel as Harding, Channel 4 News editor Ben De Pear said the prospect of the channel being privatised was worrying because news was not profitable for Channel 4. -

Tuesday 25 August 2015, PM link icon  'Proper debate' needed over ownership of Channel 4, says former chairman
The question comes in the wake of several reports in July that the government is considering proposals to privatise Channel 4, which is state-owned but supported by advertising, in a move that could raise more than 1bn to aid deficit reduction. Channel 4 executives have fiercely defended the broadcaster's unique status and made clear their opposition to privatisation. - link icon  Treasury refuses to publish BBC funding deal details despite FoI request
Chris Bryant, the shadow culture secretary, has threatened to turn to the Information Commissioner to get the full details of the BBC's shotgun licence fee deal revealed after the government admitted it has more documents but refused to make them public. Last month, Bryant forced the publication of the licence fee deal letter from chancellor George Osborne and culture secretary John Whittingdale to BBC director general Tony Hall. -

Tuesday 25 August 2015, AM link icon  BBC deprivation study made people change their views on the licence fee: "Being without th…
More than two-thirds of those originally opposed to paying the 145.50 licence fee changed their minds after being cut off from BBC services for a nine-day period, according to a study commissioned by the corporation. Of the seventy households, 48 had initially said that they would prefer either to pay no licence fee and have no BBC access, or pay a reduced licence fee. - link icon  Danny Cohen: no public desire for market failure BBC
BBC director of television Danny Cohen has claimed that there is no public desire for the corporation to become a “market failure” broadcaster.Writing in the Radio Times ahead of the Edinburgh International Television Festival this week, Cohen warned the government that the BBC must not become an organisation that “fills the gaps” left by commercial rivals.“I believe we need a strong BBC that offers a wide range of British-made programmes – dramas, documentaries, news and entertainment,” said Cohen.“I don’t believe the public want a ‘market failure’ BBC that fills the gaps by only making the kind of niche television that commercial TV simply won’t make. They want a BBC that can compete with the very best the world has to offer, driving up standards and delivering for them night after night.” - link icon  Ely entrepreneur Pete Dawe celebrates the launch of his latest venture, Cambridge TV, 'for…
The channel features a schedule of local shows and programmes from the community on Freeview channel 8 and Virgin 159 in the Cambridge area- the TV station hopes to attract viewers, too, from the Ely area. As part of the scheme, Mr Dawe was to give away three mini-buses in return for a commitment to pick up and drop off fellow commuters at three designated stop-off points in Ely and Cambridge Science Park. -

Monday 24 August 2015, PM link icon  The BBC must resist Alex Salmond's attempt to control its coverage
Of course the BBC can never be immune from attempts to influence it by those who set its income and appoint its governors or trustees - witness the current debate and controversy about cuts to the licence fee or the future of the BBC Trust. Others want to see the creation of a new Scotland editor to work alongside the BBC's political, business and UK editors to lead coverage of news from Scotland for the UK audience. -

Sunday 23 August 2015, PM link icon  The Media Column: Culture Secretary John Whittingdale will be the centre of attention as t…
Self-identification as a creature from Hades fits with Whittingdale's positioning at the festival as the spectre haunting the future of the BBC and public-service broadcasting in general. Not since Whittingdale loaded the BBC with a 650m bill for covering the cost of free licences for the over-75s, then launched a consultation paper which leaves the organisation anxious about its future. - link icon  Media Monkey's Diary: best of Edinburgh International TV Festival
Most self-defining grooming/fashion item Mark Thompson's beard, which as two-time MacTaggart lecturer served him equally well as maverick creative renegade when Channel 4 chief executive and as bleak broadcasting prophet and BBC boss forced to agree to radical austerity. Frostiest interview session Krishnan Guru-Murthy's tough cross-examination of rookie BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore last year, after which her furious colleagues Danny Cohen and Ben Stephenson confronted the Channel 4 News presenter. - link icon  ITV to acquire Northern Ireland's channel, UTV, say reports
Irish newspapers have reported that ITV is to acquire UTV, the Northern Ireland television channel, in a multi-million pound deal. According to the reports, UTV Media will retain its profitable radio portfolio, built around TalkSport. - link icon  Met Office loses BBC weather forecasting contract
The Met Office has lost its BBC weather forecasting contract, it has confirmed. The UK's weather service has provided the data used for BBC forecasts since the corporation's first radio weather bulletin on 14 November 1922. -

Sunday 23 August 2015, AM link icon  What next for the BBC?
BBC One is Britain's most watched TV channel, Radio 2 is the most listened-to radio station and BBC News Online is the most used news website. Its business model does not lead to BBC levels of investment in British TV. Even if half of all UK households signed up, the total subscription fees would be well below the current cost of BBC One. -

Friday 21 August 2015, PM link icon  BBC radio stations failing northern listeners, report says
BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live are failing to appeal to northern listeners, according to a report published by the BBC Trust. A BBC Trust report said BBC Radio 4 has become even more skewed towards listeners in the south-east, while 5 Live's move to Salford has so far failed to resonate with northern audiences. - link icon  BBC allowed to premier radio shows online
The plans have been approved as part of the Trust's service review of Radio 4, 5live, and their digital sister stations Radio 4 Extra and 5live Sports Extra, and apply only to speech radio. The approval of 'online premiering' is in place with immediate effect and while the BBC expects that it will mostly be used by Radio 4, all other BBC radio stations will, except for 5live Sports Extra whose output is entirely live, be able to premiere some speech programmes online first. -

Thursday 20 August 2015, PM link icon  Government publishing 'anti-BBC propaganda', says Labour's Chris Bryant
The Labour MP said that a post on the department's blog, which was recently given a 5,500 redesign, about the government's green paper on the future of the BBC was undermining attempts to run a consultation on the proposals. A DCMS spokesperson said the post reflected the content and language of the government's green paper on charter renewal. -

Wednesday 19 August 2015, PM link icon  CBS Drama to launch on Freeview
Not sure yet Take a FREE ONLINE TRIAL or REQUEST A FREE DIGITAL ISSUE OF BROADCAST and see for yourself how Broadcast can benefit you. There's a package to suit everyone.... -

Wednesday 19 August 2015, AM link icon  Solent Wireless starts small scale DAB service
Express FM - the popular local community radio service Portsmouth featuring music, talk and live Portsmouth FC commentary will be simulcast on digital radio. These small scale DAB trials are very exciting as they encourage innovation and competition delivering six great new stations broadcast on DAB digital radio and encompassing stations from all sectors of the radio industry, including community, student and small local stations. - link icon  BBC iPlayer takes on Netflix with new catchup features
BBC iPlayer is introducing new catch-up features, as the on-demand TV service looks to keep pace with popular streaming services such as Netflix. Cross-device pause and resume - the ability to pause a stream on one device and then pick it up on another - has also been added, as has the My Programmes section, which already works on the iPlayer website, but will now expand to mobile devices. -

Tuesday 18 August 2015, PM link icon  BBC among broadcasters to repeatedly breach Ofcom code over propaganda content
Read more BBC Let the public, not politicians, decide our future'The future of the BBC needs to be driven by evidence'BBC hits back after Government calls for 'cheaper' broadcaster. Ofcom's investigation into FBC's programmes for the BBC was hampered by the fact that the company went into liquidation months after The Independent expos. - link icon  Mediatel: Newsline: Revealed: the botched affair between government and the BBC
The BBC had to warn that major imminent service closures would be inevitable unless the government backed down on its initial insistence that the BBC would have to accept the more than 650 million funding of free licence fees for the over 75s without any guarantee in advance of compensation. BBC Two would have to close- BBC Four would also go- All of the BBC's local radio stations, which provide an important media outlet for local MPs, would be taken off the air- And, in a further blow to the nations and regions, the national radio news services for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would be shut down. -

Monday 17 August 2015, AM link icon  Tomorrow's BBC: 'The future of the BBC needs to be driven by evidence and fact, not by pre…
Audiences have higher expectations of the BBC than of other broadcasters, and they want the BBC to be held to higher standards. If the regulation of the BBC is to be kept beyond the immediate direction of ministers, any future regulator should be established, like the BBC itself, under royal charter. -

Sunday 16 August 2015, AM link icon  Portsmouth DAB trial sets launch date
Listeners in Portsmouth will gain access to additional stations on DAB digital radio from Wednesday 19th August, when a new multiplex serving the city goes live. The nine-month trial is one of ten across the UK that aims to look at the feasibility, from a technical and cost point of view, of broadcasting services on DAB digital radio across a smaller area than traditional local services, which generally cover entire counties. - link icon  These sites accept Cookies: how streaming almost killed Sesame Street
As people turned their backs on cable, they embraced streaming services like Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Apple TV. HBO was not far behind - striking a deal with Apple TV to launch a standalone HBO Now streaming service to be available on the device for just 14.99 a month. In addition to streaming of the Sesame Street, they partnered with PBS, Disney Channel, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Mattel, Hasbro, Lego and Scholastic to bring children's programming to the 24/7 world of online streaming. -

Friday 14 August 2015, PM link icon  Apple Said to Delay Live TV Service to 2016 as Negotiations Stall
Without enough content deals in place, Apple has scrapped plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event in San Francisco, which would have coincided with the beginning of the new network TV season, the people said. In addition to securing content, Apple has encountered problems creating a computer network that will ensure a fast, glitch-free viewing experience throughout the U.S. Such a network requires storing popular shows close to viewers, so each time a customer in New York for example wants to see local baseball game or the evening news, the shows don't have to be streamed all the way from one of Apple's four data centers in California, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon. -

Friday 14 August 2015, AM link icon  DAB+ figures released in Australia
The figures are compiled for Commercial Radio Australia, who also report on the most listened-to commercial DAB-only stations. There are now more than 45 extra DAB only stations on offer in the five metropolitan capitals, including targeted formats such as sport, talk and news, children's programming, country, chillout and dance music and short term pop-up stations focused on events or particular seasons. -

Tuesday 11 August 2015, PM link icon  BBC accused of 'abandoning' Birmingham after removing almost all TV and radio shows from c…
The relocation is the latest in a series of setbacks for BBC Birmingham, which has been stripped of popular TV shows Coast, Countryfile and Hairy Bikers and lost prestigious BBC Radio 4 shows You and Yours, Farming Today and Costing the Earth. The Mailbox building, home of BBC Birmingham For 33 years, Pebble Mill, which was opened by Princess Anne as the UK's first purpose built broadcasting centre, was a familiar location to millions of BBC viewers as the backdrop for programmes such as The Clothes Show and Pebble Mill At One. - link icon  UK traditional television viewing declines
Across the television viewing population the proportion of time spent watching time-shifted programming has grown incrementally each year to reach 12 of television viewing in 2014. If BARB were to report viewing of programmes irrespective of when they were actually transmitted, we might find that television viewing is much they same as it has been for many years. - link icon  The UK's only Asian media news site
Rishtey has become the first Hindi general entertainment service to launch nationally on the Freeview platform. The channel, which took to the air at 1100 today, will be available on all Freeview HD boxes on channel 77. - link icon  ITV Cymru Wales HD launches on August 25
ITV Cymru Wales will broadcast its news and programmes in HD from August 25. The current ITV HD service from transmitters in Wales will become ITV Cymru Wales HD. Viewers in Wales watching via Sky, Freesat and Cable will also receive ITV Cymru Wales HD. How can I watch ITV Cymru Wales HD You may need to retune your TV or set-top box from August 25 to receive all of the ITV services in your area. -

Saturday 08 August 2015, PM link icon  BT Ultra HD YouView box review
It's a YouView box, virtually identical in appearance and functionality to the YouView from BT box, except with a 1TB hard disk capable of storing 60 hours of UHD content. For anyone not wanting to buy a 4K screen yet it may be worth investing in the box before buying one, giving you noticeably superior pictures to Full HD channels. -

Friday 07 August 2015, PM link icon  Customer complaints prompt Sky investigation
Under rules introduced by Ofcom last year, if you took out a contract after 23 January 2014 and your provider increases prices on that contract, you can cancel without paying any penalty fees. Together we convinced Ofcom to take action and, as a result, fixed contracts mean fixed prices from the day you sign the agreement until the end of the contract. - link icon  WorldDMB changes back to its original name
WorldDMB is changing its name to WorldDAB from today to reflect the primary mission of the organisation. DAB has made enormous progress over the last four years, particularly in Europe and Australia, with growing signs of interest in other territories and WorldDAB intends to play a leading role in this process. -

Friday 07 August 2015, AM link icon  TV Decline May Help Apple Web TV Deal
For instance Last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC it was possible his company might sell ESPN directly to consumers over the Web - just like Netflix or HBO. For instance In 2014, when Intel was trying to launch its own Web TV service, it wanted to get the rights to automatically provide on-demand access to any show that had aired in the last three days. - link icon  Bournemouth DAB expands to cover Dorchester
National BBC DAB coverage has been increased to 96 of the population and the Government, BBC and commercial radio has agreed plans to build a further 182 local DAB transmitters to extend local DAB coverage to more than 90 of the population. Almost 54 of homes in the Bournemouth area have a DAB digital radio, and 41 of radio listening hours are to digital platforms. - link icon  Ofcom investigates Sky over complaints of ignored cancellation requests
The broadcasting watchdog Ofcom is investigating Sky over concerns that customers' attempts to cancel their contracts are being ignored. Ofcom launched the investigation, which will look at Sky's TV, phone and broadband services, after monitoring the way that providers across the board give customers opportunities to cancel their contracts. -

Thursday 06 August 2015, PM link icon  Two-thirds of UK's Netflix and Amazon users don't watch their original shows
Amazon recently struck a 160m deal to create a new show with former Top Gear stars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Just 31 of people told Ofcom in April they used an online TV service to watch original programming, compared to 75 who said they used the service to watch films and almost half who said they watched US shows. An earlier survey from the beginning of 2014 found that only 24 of Netflix subscribers and 15 of Amazon Prime subscribers said the reason they had signed up to the service was to watch original programming. -

Thursday 06 August 2015, AM link icon  TV industry revenue breaks £13bn barrier boosted by advertising growth
The BBC's contribution to total broadcaster income has grown slower than most other sources over the last five years, up only 1.3 from 2009 and down as a proportion of the total from 23 to 20.1. Subscriptions remain the biggest single source of revenue for broadcasters. Advertising revenue increased 3.9 to 3.8bn, with broadcasters increasing their total share of display advertising - which includes print ads and online banners - slightly to 44. The core channels of the public service broadcasters including ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 attracted 2.1bn in advertising, well over half the total. - link icon  RAJAR: 50% of houses now have DAB radio
Listening to analogue radio declined to a new low of 53.7 and digital listening in cars grew by 48 year on year and now accounts for almost 17 of all in car listening. Capital XTRA grew on digital platforms by 27 to 511k digital listeners, whilst the Gold Network grew by 22 to 612k digital listeners with over 50 of its listeners being digital for the first time. -

Wednesday 05 August 2015, PM link icon  Cheap Premier League football on TV
If you take the full Sky Sports package with Sky or Virgin, you'll get access to all seven Sky Sports channels, including the newest, Sky Sports 5, which covers European football. To get BT Sport Lite - If you have BT broadband but Sky TV, you'll get BT Sport Lite for 'free' but you'll need to opt into it, otherwise you'll automatically be upgraded to the full BT Sport pack costing 5/month. -

Monday 03 August 2015, PM link icon  BT Sport Ultra HD Review: Makes Even My Mum Want to Watch 4K Football
Using a new 4K-enabled YouView box, BT follows in Netflix's footsteps, piping the BT Sport Ultra HD channel down your broadband connection rather than attempting to channel it over the UK's antiquated airwaves. Though a free add-on for those already signed up to it, the BT Sport Ultra HD channel is only available as part of the top BT TV package, Entertainment Ultra HD, for 15 a month, while the new YouView box comes with a 44 installation fee. -

Sunday 02 August 2015, PM link icon  ITV threatens DCMS over closure of iPlayer loop-hole
ITV chief executive Adam Crozier has written to government ministers raising concerns that proposals to close the iPlayer loophole would result in consumers being charged to access ITV Player.According to Sky News, ITV has warned the Department of Culture, Media & Sport that it is considering legal action over the proposals that will force users of terrestrial broadcasters’ catch-up services to buy a TV licence.Currently iPlayer users do not need to buy a TV licence, a loophole estimated to cost the BBC £150m a year, but the government’s proposals to “modernise” the system include expanding it to include the commercial PSB’s catch-up players. - link icon  Diane Coyle: Former vice-chair of BBC Trust says licence fee payers deserve to know how or…
Sources told The Independent that the Osborne-Murdoch meeting, understood to have been in Downing Street, took place in late June before the BBC's Director-General, Lord Hall, was informed of the government's plan to shift financial responsibility for free TV licences for the over-75s from the Department of Works and Pensions to the BBC. George Osborne is alleged to have held a meeting with Rupert Murdoch in late June. She equated the scale of the loss - 650m - as the equivalent of losing BBC 2's budget, all of BBC network radio, or all of BBC3, 4 and Radio 5 and 6, plus all the BBC's local radio operations. - link icon  First small scale DAB starts. in Brighton
Small scale digital radio took to the air in Brighton this morning with the UK's first local DAB multiplex. Ten small scale DAB multiplexes will be launching in the next few weeks across the UK.. -

Tuesday 28 July 2015, PM link icon  BBC looks to make more long-form shows for iPlayer after success of Adam Curtis's document…
The BBC is looking to make more long-form programmes exclusively for iPlayer after a ground-breaking film, made for the online platform by Adam Curtis, was nominated for a major award.Bitter Lake, which ran for 2 hours 17 minutes, and explored themes including the growth of Wahhabism and America’s historic relationship with Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, has been shortlisted for Best Historical Documentary at the Grierson awards.. -

Monday 27 July 2015, PM link icon  BBC iPlayer - Help - Downloading from the BBC Site

Thursday 23 July 2015, PM link icon  EU accuses Sky and Hollywood's big six of illegally 'geo-blocking' film access
The European commission has accused Sky and six Hollywood studios of putting up anti-competitive barriers that restrict consumers from watching the films and TV shows of their choice. The commission has sent a statement of objections - a list of formal charges - to Sky UK and the six studios Disney, whose recent hits include Maleficent Fast Furious maker NBC Universal Paramount Pictures, which owns the Transformers franchise Sony, the studio behind the Spider-Man series Twentieth Century Fox, whose TV hits include Modern Family and Warner Brothers, owner of the Harry Potter franchise. -

Tuesday 21 July 2015, PM link icon  Ofcom could take on BBC regulation but not governance, says Sharon White
Ofcom chief executive Sharon White has said the watchdog could take on the wider regulation of the BBC but ruled out absorbing the governance role of the BBC Trust, saying she would 039draw a line in the sand039 over the issue. With the future of the BBC under review by the government and the trust widely expected to be axed, chancellor George Osborne has indicated that he would like to see its regulation pass to the media regulator. - link icon  BBC Radio 4 reignites the DAB v FM debate
Ten years ago listeners complained of poor reception, and BBC Radio 4039s Today Programmes has sparked a debate resulting in listeners complaining of exactly the same thing. On Monday morning, James Cridland and DigitalRadioUK039s and Laurence Harrison appeared on the show to defend DAB, and talk about the possible 039end of FM039. Both provided facts and figures about DAB listing and a multi-platform world, but listeners reacted by complaining of the lack of reception. -

Monday 20 July 2015, PM link icon  Peter Salmon to head BBC Studios
Salmon, who is currently the BBC's director, England, having overseen the set-up of its BBC North complex in Salford, will be responsible for the entirety of the corporation's in-house content production. BBC Studios proposals and the unprecedented production free-for-all is regarded as both an opportunity and a threat to the BBC's in-house team, opening it up to competition and free market pressures like never before. -

Sunday 19 July 2015, PM link icon  Will S4C return to bleak times?
When the last licence fee deal in 2010 handed the BBC responsibility for funding S4C, it replaced a long period of inflation-linked annual rises with a 24.4 cut. Will the government wish to provoke the comparatively sleepy red dragon of Welsh nationalism The Welsh Language Society ran a fierce picketing campaign after the 2010 deal, and is calling for a statutory funding formula for S4C. Its appetite for direct action reminded everyone that S4C is an effective piece of social policy engineering. -

Saturday 18 July 2015, PM link icon  Jonathan Dimbleby urges public to rise up in support of embattled BBC
The veteran political broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby has attacked the commercial enemies of the BBC for setting out to destroy it, and has urged audiences to rise up to defend the corporation. A source close to the top of the BBC also claimed that, far from being cowed by criticism of its orchestration of support for the BBC in a letter signed by celebrities such as Michael Palin, David Attenborough and Emma Thompson, the BBC executive, led by director general Lord Hall, was to make the tone of the debate more combative, not less. -

Friday 17 July 2015, PM link icon  BT announces aggressively low price for 4K Ultra HD sports channel
BT has announced that it's Ultra HD sports channel will be available as part of a TV bundle costing just pound15 per month. As with BT's current line up of set top boxes, the new model has been developed in partnership with YouView, the aerial/broadband hybrid TV platform which BT co-owns alongside the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5 and TalkTalk. - link icon  James Purnell: charter renewal paper 'depressing'
BBC strategy boss James Purnell has branded the government’s charter renewal green paper “depressing” in a heated debate with Daily Mail columnist Stephen Glover on Newsnight.Former Labour politician Purnell repeatedly raised his voice as he accused the government of attempting to tie the BBC’s hands behind its back.“We welcome the debate, it’s an important debate,” he told host Evan Davis. “The slightly depressing thing is that when you read the green paper every introduction is [about] how great the BBC is and what a precious asset it is, [but] all the questions are about how can we make it smaller, how can we tie its hands behind its back.”.... -

Thursday 16 July 2015, PM link icon  Free to view TV for the connected age Update: July 2015
Digital UK’s increasingly important role alongside managing day-to-day operations for UK terrestrial television is leading the development of a long-term strategy for the platform as it adapts to shifts in technology and viewer behaviour - link icon  Department for Culture, Media and Sport BBC Charter Review: public consultation
Last year, as Chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, I heard evidence from a range of experts about the BBC on the challenges it has faced and the issues for its future. This has helped to establish what this Charter Review needs to consider. As Secretary of State, I want to hear from people all over the UK, so I can understand what this country wants from and for the BBC. - link icon  No plans to reduce news on BBC local radio | RadioToday
The BBC has confirmed to RadioToday that there are no plans to reduce news programming on any BBC local radio stations. - link icon  Ofcom seeks views on splitting BT and Openreach
Most internet service providers offer services through a fixed-line network controlled and maintained by BT. But Ofcom said it had concerns BT Openreach's performance on behalf of those providers had often been poor. Ofcom said the network had evolved in recent years, with the growth of fibre optic cable services - particularly in towns and cities - offering television, telephone and superfast broadband internet services. -

Wednesday 15 July 2015, PM link icon…
Levy/PA Letters Wednesday 15 July 2015 19.43 BST Last modified on Thursday 16 July 2015 00.00 BST Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Shares 80 So the government wants a “root and branch” review to decide whether the BBC has “been chasing mass ratings at the expense of its original public service brief” (BBC faces ‘root and branch’ review of its size and remit, 13 July). Ministers appear not to know – or perhaps they have conveniently forgotten – that right from its foundation in the 1920s the BBC’s core mission was precisely to reach the entire population. - link icon  Bad news week for BBC as Murdoch press sharpens claws
It’s to be yet another week of crisis, inspection and introspection for the forever under pressure BBC as the government is set to publish a green paper on Thursday, which will, the Guardian says, signal the next stage in the political battle over the broadcaster’s future size and funding. - link icon  BBC Local Radio to reduce news programming
David Holdsworth has announced a new direction for BBC local radio stations, with a focus on personalities and production. Local news will continue to be important, but local radio journalism, David says, also needs to have personality through engaging interviews, debate and conversation with the audience. -

Wednesday 15 July 2015, AM link icon  Celebrities sign BBC letter: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and JK Rowling tell David Cameron …
He added quotThe BBC does not belong to its staff. The BBC does not belong to the government. The BBC belongs to the country. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad. During the course of the Charter, we will continue to make the case for a strong BBC at the centre of British life and will be vocal in making the case for the BBC as it approaches its centenary. - link icon  Seventy per cent of new cars now have DAB
The growth of digital radio in cars is linked to the increase of digital listening which now represents nearly 40 of all listening, and the expansion of digital coverage and content. Ed Vaizey quotI am pleased to announce that 70 of new cars now come with digital radio as standard - that's excellent progress and demonstrates the support of vehicle manufacturers for digital radio. -

Tuesday 14 July 2015, PM link icon  Evening Standard comment: The battle is beginning over reform of the BBC
Government figures are already briefing that the paper will propose an end to some mainstream programming, limits on the BBC's website and scrapping the BBC Trust - as well as reconsidering the future of the licence fee. The BBC is one of Britain's greatest national institutions. - link icon  BBC Annual Report and Accounts
Part One is the BBC Trust's review and assessment of BBC performance during the year. The BBC Executive's report on its own performance during the 2013/14 is included in Part Two. - link icon  but that doesn't affect its output
Then there's Robbie Gibb, the current excellent editor of all BBC TV's political programmes In a former life he was a vice-chairman of the extreme rightwing Federation of Conservative Students and went on to become chief of staff to the senior Tory MP Francis Maude before joining the BBC. And we, or the bias investigators, should not overlook the fact that David Cameron replaced his previous press secretary, Andy Coulson, with the then editor of BBC News, Craig Oliver and, around the same time, London mayor Boris Johnson recruited BBC political correspondent Guto Harri, to head his media team. In the context of Tory-aligned personnel in influential positions within the BBC, perhaps most importantly of all, one thinks of the recently retired chair of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, a former Conservative cabinet minister. - link icon  The battle for the BBC
quotChris Patten used to make jokes about the army of the People's Republic of China being the organisation that's the closest he's encountered to the BBC it is just huge numbers of people, many of whom don't appear to be doing anything. And every person I talk to in the BBC tears their hair out about all these people with mad titles. You know, the BBC is full of directors of sustainability and all those other sort of ridiculous titlesquot - the kind of thing satirised by the BBC's own comedy about itself, W1A. Hall told me last year quotI think we are at the end of a period of, as it were, unbridled expansion of the BBC. We're now in a period when we have to define much, much more carefully what it is the BBC offers and what is it the BBC can doquot He was contemplating acts of retrenchment, such as the moving of BBC3 - the channel much loved by younger and lower-income viewers - to an online-only service, which the BBC Trust has now ratified. - link icon  Annual report highlights BBC challenge
The BBC annual report and accounts for 2014/15 - published on Tuesday - reveal that while nearly every UK adult watches BBC television, listens to its radio stations or uses BBC online, they aren't hanging around for as long and they appreciate the services less. Every BBC television channel lost both reach and audience appreciation - a trend across broadcasters as people spend more time online - while only BBC One and CBeebies kept audiences watching for longer than last year. - link icon  Joan Bakewell calls for over-75s to continue paying BBC licence fee
Broadcaster Joan Bakewell has urged people aged over 75 to carry on paying the licence fee after the BBC was saddled with the pound750m cost of free TV licences for the elderly. quotAnyone who has previously applied for an over-75 licence but chooses to start paying again would need to contact TV Licensing, cancel their existing concessionary licence and then pay for a new licence via any of our standard payment channels. - link icon  BBC radio shows now available to download
The programmes will be added to their download queue and downloaded whenever the device is connected to Wi-Fi. Andrew Scott, General Manager of Product, Radio Music, BBC Digital, says quotWith over 860m requests for radio streams across all devices on BBC iPlayer Radio in 2014, we're thrilled to bring offline listening to our audiences. We know this is something they've been asking for and we have been working hard to make it possible. Now they will have more choice than ever to listen to their favourite programmes, with all downloads available for 30 days and no need to worry about mobile data limits. quotMark Friend, Controller of Radio Music Multiplatform, BBC Radio, saysquotThe spectacular success of the BBC's podcasts, with around 70 million downloads in May, shows that people want to download high-quality audio to listen to at their convenience. - link icon  BBC fights back against Tory assault on 'waste' and right to make popular shows
quotThere is an important argument to be made about what kind of BBC we want to see in the future,quot said a BBC source. quotThe government's plans are to scale back the BBC and to stop it making popular programmes. If it gets its way with the changes it wants, the BBC will be a national irrelevance by 2027. Audiences tell us they want big, popular entertainment shows as part of the unrivalled range of programmes the BBC offers, and given the universal nature of the licence fee, it's right that we provide something for everyone. -

Monday 13 July 2015, AM link icon  Ex-BBC chief Sir Michael Lyons attacks minister's 'murky' bid to reform the broadcaster
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. Sir Michael Lyons, a former chairman of the BBC Trust, warned that the situation seemed to be getting quotMurkier and murkierquot, following last week's decision to make the corporation cover the cost of free licence fees for over-75s. He said the advisory panel had been quotHand-pickedquot by Mr Whittingdale with quotNo room, not even a mention of how the public, who pay for the BBC, are going to be involvedquot. -