Select Committee on Foreign Affairs First Special Report


Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on BBC World (12 November 1999)

  1.  As the Committee is aware, BBC World is a commercial operation funded by subscription and/or advertising. It is part of the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide and is quite separate from the BBC World Service which is funded by Parliamentary Grant-in-Aid. The FCO thus has no responsibility for BBC World. Nor are BBC World's objectives agreed with the FCO.

  2.  The BBC have drawn our attention to a Note they issued recently about changes at BBC World. The Note is attached for the information of the Committee.

  3.  The measure that the BBC has announced are designed to secure BBC World's future as a news and information channel, with a shape and structure that provide a basis for growth. We understand that BBC management are confident that new broadcasting will continue to be of the highest quality, and business coverage will be enhanced. Future audience surveys and advertising revenue will be the best measures of the impact of the changes the BBC is now making.

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