Industry News

Radiocentre statement on BBC radio brand extension plans

Radiocentre statement on BBC radio brand extension plans

Below is a statement from Radiocentre on the BBC’s plans to launch new brand extensions on DAB+ and BBC Sounds that were announced on Wednesday 7th February.

A Radiocentre spokesperson said:

These new proposals are an attempt to directly imitate the recent success of commercial stations that already provide these genre stations following years of significant investment made by our sector.  

Despite the polished BBC press release, when one peels back the veneer, the BBC are, yet again, attempting to compete directly with commercial radio stations, interfering with the market and failing to provide distinct public value. UK audiences are very well catered for with more choice than ever, especially for music spin-off stations.

Senior leaders at the BBC – Tim Davie, Charlotte Moore, Jonathan Wall and Lorna Clarke – don’t seem to acknowledge that this is not what the BBC, with its taxpayer funding, are supposed to be doing. They are required to provide services that are truly additional, distinct and incremental to what is already provided by commercial operators, not duplicate it.

We would like to know where the money is coming from to fund these new services. The BBC often say that they need more funding to sustain current services and that they have already cut costs to the bone – including recently cutting back news and local radio funding. What are the BBC cutting to fund these new unnecessary services?

Ofcom should reject these proposed market interventions that would just offer duplicate services and not deliver against the BBC’s obligations, at the same time as harming commercial innovation.