BBC: Advertising

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 3 April 2024.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC’s plans to introduce advertising on podcasts and on-demand content via third-party services; and whether the plans are compatible with the Royal Charter and Agreement.

Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC’s initiatives to engage with competitors on their plans to introduce advertising on podcasts and on-demand content via third-party services.

Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to (1) the BBC Mid Term Review 2024, published on 22 January, and (2) the BBC’s plans to introduce advertising on podcasts and on-demand content via third-party services, what steps they are taking to ensure that Ofcom’s regulation of the BBC ensures the Corporation does not unduly harm the commercial sector.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

The BBC has responsibilities set out in its Royal Charter to avoid unnecessary adverse impacts on the market. As the BBC’s independent regulator, it is for Ofcom to hold the BBC to account in meeting its obligations both to its audiences and to the market, as set out in the Royal Charter and Framework Agreement.

The Government’s recent Mid-Term Review of the BBC stresses the need for the BBC meaningfully to engage with its competitors, and for high standards of transparency. Our recommendations seek to secure more effective engagement between competitors, the BBC and Ofcom on competition and market issues, enabling the BBC and Ofcom to make more informed decisions about changes which may affect the BBC’s competitors, and to ensure that the BBC’s competitors are better able to inform those decisions.

The Government will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the reforms as we approach the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter. We will examine the BBC’s role in the wider market, including how the regulatory framework may need to evolve to reflect shifts in technology and consumer behaviour, as part of our work in the next Charter Review. In the meantime, the BBC must rise to the challenge and make sure to strike the correct balance between its obligations.

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