Reaction from the BBC Trust, Sky, Pact and others following the release of the Digital Britain interim report.

BBC Trust

  • “Digital and broadband technologies hold enormous potential to bring great benefits to audiences and to the economy, and the BBC stands ready to play its part in ensuring these benefits are delivered as widely as possible through the UK. For example, the BBC is working actively with Channel 4 to establish what scope there is for a partnership with BBC Worldwide to create new value to replace some of the revenue lost to Channel 4 by declining advertising sales. We note Lord Carter's suggestion that a greater degree of operational and financial flexibility for BBC Worldwide in the future could be better for BBC Worldwide as a business, and for the licence fee payer.”

Sky

  • “Government must be vigilant that public intervention does not undermine the commercial incentives that drive so much investment and innovation in digital content, networks and services.”

RadioCentre, chief executive, Andrew Harrison

  • “The report offers a real opportunity to secure a viable digital plan for radio. In particular, we welcome the report's recognition of the importance of extending digital radio coverage. We will rise to the challenge of providing a clear industry plan to “drive to digital” and remain convinced that this must include an extension of analogue and multiplex licences.”

Absolute Radio, chief executive officer, Donnach O'Driscoll

  • “Digital listening is at the heart of Absolute Radio's future plans and we applaud the report's support for DAB. The commercial benefits are clear to us. The challenge however is reconciling this with the existing cost of running two national licences concurrently. Offsetting that cost, is also made more challenging by the fact that we cannot, like TV or Digital Terrestrial TV, offer national advertisers the opportunity to buy regionally”

Pact, chief executive, John McVay

  • “The current terms of trade should evolve in the digital era. New services and platforms offer content creators an increasing array of ways to make content available to the public and the UK must have a framework that enables them to respond to these opportunities and develop new markets. However at the heart of this, our guiding principle must be that content creators, be they external suppliers or in-house departments at broadcasters, are able to own and exploit the IP that they create.”


Value Partners, director, digital media economist Janice Hughes

  • “I am concerned about giving BBC Worldwide to C4. This would involve breaking apart the value chain of creative content development from the closely linked commercial exploitation and distribution just at the time when TV producers need to seek out pre-sales and production partners in other territories. The successful drama Generation Kill from Company Pictures could not have been made without HBO in the development loop. The music and computer games industries have learnt that you need to focus on 360 degree distribution at the outset of a project in a digital world.”

Denton Wilde Sapte, partner, Ingrid Silver

  • “Lord Carter's proposals also offer hope to Channel 4 that its future does not necessarily lie in the much discussed tie-up with Five. The possibility of a UK joint venture with BBC Worldwide offers Channel 4 a route to generate more funding for public service commitments, whilst ensuring the BBC can avoid the sceptre of top-slicing the licence fee or, worse still, having BBC Worldwide's wings clipped.”

Deloitte, director of research, Paul Lee

  • “There are various forms of digital divide. One is the divide between those with access to broadband and those without. Another more significant divide however may be the divide between those who find broadband useful to their home and work lives, and those who do not yet regard the Internet as critical to them. While by 2012, everyone in the UK may have access to broadband, to make that investment really work for Britain, we will need to ensure that the internet offers a spread of applications and services that are relevant.”