BBC distorts ultra-local TV

Your correspondent Steve Egginton seems to have got the wrong end of
the stick about the BBC’s ultra-local TV plans (16 September). Regional
newspaper publishers are well aware that local TV is going to happen –
that is why they are investing and innovating in this area now.

A
number of groups have already ventured into local TV and are
experimenting with delivering video and text to local audiences, to
complement their traditional text and pictures. Others are developing
plans for such services. They know full well that ultra-local TV
presents a major opportunity for them. That is exactly why they object
to the BBC’s plans.

These early pioneers must be given the
freedom to develop their businesses in an environment that supports
commercial innovation.

Our concern is that a publicly funded
broadcaster could undermine innovation in commercial publishing
operations and distort investment decisions through unfair recourse to
scale economies, branding, crosspromotion, and privileged distribution.

The question is not whether regional publishers will embrace local TV, but whether they will be allowed to.

Lynne Anderson communications director The Newspaper Society

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