BBC ‘Misled’ Government on Public Support for Digital TV, Claims Report

28 February 2001

A survey carried out by market research specialist MORI for an alliance of commercial broadcasters slams Britain's state broadcaster, the BBC, for misleading government ministers about the extent of public support for its upcoming digital services.

The BBC’s plan to invest £300 million of public money on digital ventures requires government approval but, according to commercial rivals, its public consultation exercise which professed a wide degree of support was “unrepresentative and unreliable”.

Or so claims MORI, hired by the commercial companies to vet the BBC’s research. The timing of its broadside coincides with today’s closing date for the submission to the government of views supporting or opposing the plans.

The BBC insists that the public consultation exercise was its biggest ever, with the findings verified by independent research organisation BMRB. Its digital plans - four TV channels and five radio stations - require the nod from culture secretary Chris Smith.

News source: Financial Times