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    Wednesday, 11 April 2007

    BBC Trust receives complaint re BBC mobile services

    BroadcastNow (subscription service) is reporting that the Chief Executive of ITN has complained to the BBC Trust about the plans of the BBC to launch a free trial of its mobile television services.

    The BBC plans to allow subscribers to Orange, Vodafone and 3's TV packages to watch BBC One, BBC News 24 and BBC Three (with the exception of some sport and acquired programmes) streamed on their mobiles. They will also be able to listen to up to eight BBC radio stations. The BBC hopes to assess the utility of the platform, and also how users respond to the provision of linear services in this mode. It is not clear whether the BBC sees the post-trial service as an aspect of its public service remit, or whether the plan is to launch a full commercial service. Presumably, its the former. It is already possible to access BBC internet services by mobile.

    ITN operates its own service to mobile phones, ITV On, which it plans to expand. Indeed, last month it announced the launch of a new music division. Its concern is that the free trial would undermine commercial services, and distort trials of services funded by advertising.

    Meanwhile, the Trust has indicated that future link-ups between the BBC and other media organisations, such as that with YouTube announced in March, will probably be made subject to a public value test.

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