Broadcast Watchdog Urges BBC to Solve Regulation Problems

28 October 2004

Ofcom, the UK's media and telecoms watchdog, says the BBC must sort out its own governance issues.

The regulator claims it has no 'imperial ambition' to oversee the state-funded broadcaster as it has enough work already.

But Ofcom ceo Stepehen Carter says the BBC has to resolve the thorny problem of its governors being both its regulators and its champions, a conflict which the corporation's chairman Michael Grade has admitted to the government's culture, media and sport select committee.

Says Ofcom chairman Lord David Currie: "The separation between regulation and governance is important. There are different ways that can be achieved."

He cites the example of commercial state TV station Channel Four whose board is appointed by Ofcom in agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Another idea put forward among those in the industry is the so-called 'Ofbeeb', whose sole remit would be the regulation of the BBC.

However, Carter says: "A regulator needs to have a certain clout, size and scale. Just how much that is achievable in a solitary regulator of one entity is open to debate."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff