The BBC Trust is still considering a proposal from BBC management to restructure the BBC’s international web presence to a commercial service, BBC.com. The Trust has still not reached a clear decision, and says that it hopes to reach a final decision in the Spring.
The Trust accepts that, for the BBC to meet its purpose internationally, it must invest more online. It cannot use the licence fee for this purpose. One option is to carry advertising – where appropriate and subject to robust editorial safeguards – in line with the BBC’s existing approach internationally on television.
The Trust has considered the proposals from management for the BBC.com website very carefully, but says it is not currently satisfied it has all the information necessary to reach a decision. Consequently the Trust has asked BBC management to do further work – particularly around how advertising revenue would be reinvested in BBC Global News and the BBC’s UK public services for the benefit of licence fee payers. The BBC Trust Unit has also been asked to do further analysis to satisfy the Trust that all issues linked to potential fair trading questions have been addressed.
(Source: BBC Trust/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)