BBC Radio

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Kamall Lord Kamall Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the BBC over its plans to launch four new spin-off radio stations and over whether the introduction of these stations risks being anti-competitive.

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

Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly meet the BBC’s leadership to discuss a range of issues.

The BBC has responsibilities, set out in its Royal Charter, to avoid unnecessary adverse impacts on the market. In delivering these responsibilities, the BBC is required to undertake a public interest test, carrying out an assessment of the impact of new services and justifying the resulting market impacts. The BBC is currently consulting on the impact of its radio station plans.

As the BBC’s independent regulator, it is for Ofcom to ensure that any adverse impact on the market is necessary for the effective fulfilment of the BBC’s Mission and Public Purposes, and robustly to hold the BBC to account in meeting its obligations both to its audiences and to the market. Ofcom will therefore review the evidence provided by the BBC with regard to its radio station plans and determine the materiality and impact of the changes.

The Government was clear in the Mid-Term Review about the importance of the BBC meaningfully engaging with its competitors when it is considering changes to its services. Given the number of new services proposed, it will be important that the BBC consults widely on the detail of the proposals – and for Ofcom to rigorously assess them before granting any approval.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.