Letter: BBC's duty

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Reporting proceedings at the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport, your story "BBC digital news cost has doubled budget, says Birt" (26 November) suggested that there was little viewing of BBC services on digital television platforms. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to latest industry research, the BBC is in fact the most watched broadcaster in digital homes. As a universally funded broadcaster, we make our service available by whatever means consumers choose, be that satellite, cable or terrestrial.

Clearly, the large majority of viewers access the BBC's services through the subsidised set-top boxes provided by the subscription operators. It is remarkable that more than 5,000 have chosen to ask for a card enabling them to view "free-to-air" satellite services only, thus denying themselves the special offers available from the pay operators.

COLIN BROWNE

Director of Corporate Affairs, BBC

London W1

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