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BBC local video plans rejected

Commercial radio stations are free to expand their online content without a threat from BBC local radio stations, after the BBC Trust rejected plans for the corporation to launch a network of local news sites with video content.

The £68m plan faced most opposition from newspaper publishers who are actively moving in to the online video market. However, Ofcom has announced the service would have had an impact on a range of commercial providers including local radio stations and their associated web services.

RadioCentre, the industry body for Commercial Radio also opposed the service and is pleased with the result, as chief executive Andrew Harrison comments: "We are pleased that, in looking at the evidence presented to it by RadioCentre, Ofcom and other stakeholders, the Trust has reached a sensible conclusion.

"Local communities already receive valuable local news and information from 320 commercial radio stations spread across the UK; the introduction of a publicly funded service of this nature would have had a devastating effect on these small local businesses. The BBC will continue to have an important role in local media markets, but this decision will ensure that that role remains a complementary one, and will give commercial media operators the breathing space to respond flexibly to the changing needs of consumers and advertisers."

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