The BBC Trust is to review the broadcaster’s participation in YouView, the broadcast and internet TV platform which launched last year.
The service is a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva and combines digital terrestrial TV with catch-up television and access on-demand TV players such as BBC iPlayer.
When the Trust first approved the BBC’s involvement in 2010, it set down a number of conditions which would be reviewed 12 months after launch.
Those conditions included an obligation to ensure viewers had the option of accessing the YouView service without taking out a subscription, safeguards for blind or partially sighted viewers and a requirement that YouVIew dealt with content providers on a fair and non-discriminatory basis.
Announcing the review, BBC Trustee Diane Coyle, said: “We put in place conditions to ensure the public got the greatest possible benefit from YouView. Now almost 400,000 YouView boxes have been sold, this review is an opportunity to check that the conditions are working as they should.”
The review will focus on the following areas:
- The availability of access and usability features that will allow those who are blind or partially sighted or who suffer from moderate motor skills impairment to use the service
- The use of ‘editorial signposting’ to allow audiences to make informed choices about the content they watch
- Syndication – whether the BBC’s involvement in YouView has had an impact on other public service broadcasters in the approach they take to making their programme content available to other platforms
- The way in which YouView is promoted by its partners (with particular reference to BBC activity, which is subject to the BBC code on cross promotion)
Commenting on the review, a YouView spokesperson said: “Since launch, we have been working to ensure that YouView complies with all of the BBC Trust’s requirements and we look forward to receiving the results of their review.”