Local papers triumph over BBC’s online video plans

Regional newspaper publishers have triumphed in the battle against the BBC’s plan to invest £68m in video-led local websites. The BBC Trust has decided the broadcaster should not press ahead with plans because the sites would not improve services for the public.

The Trust, which published its findings today (November 21) found that the creation of local video by the BBC would not improve services for the public enough to justify either the investment of licence fee funds or the negative impact on commercial media. The decision followed an investigation made in conjunction with Ofcom.

The Newspaper Society, on behalf of regional newspaper publishers, had been aggressively lobbying against the BBC proposal, claiming that it would stifle the growth of publishers’ digital businesses.

Newspaper Society director David Newell says: “This is a proposal which the BBC should never have made and would have severely reduced consumers’ media choice and the rich tapestry of local news and information provision in the UK”.

He adds that the society will now be seeking a meeting with Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to discuss the future roles of the BBC, BBC Trust and Ofcom and the current challenges facing regional and local media.

He says: “We must be on our guard to ensure that the BBC is not allowed to expand its local services by alternative means.”

The Trust’s decision against local video content is now open to public consultation until January 5. It will publish its final decision on February 25.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here