Letter: BBC viewing data clarified

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The Independent Online
BBC viewing data clarified

Sir: The data published in our Statement of Promises to Viewers and Listeners about the range of programmes broadcast in peak time by BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4 was included in our Annual Report and Accounts published in July. This key performance indicator has been published now for three years in our Annual Report and Accounts without attracting challenge.

The criterion is that a broadcaster must transmit UK-made programmes in each category for more than half an hour in an average week at peak time, that is between 6pm and 10.30pm. The measure is stringent and designed to reveal what the range is across an average week over the year. It is applied fairly; for instance it appears as if BBC1 does not broadcast any natural history programmes. Of course we do, but not to the extent to meet the criterion.

However, we should have stated the criterion for inclusion and how the calculations are arrived at. We will correct this in further print runs.

The plain fact, however, is that last year the BBC broadcast a wider range of UK-made programme types in peak time throughout the year than ITV and Channel 4; and so we should, given our unique method of funding. We are committed to be more accountable; that means that we must provide evidence of our performance. We will continue to do so, as our licence- payers expect.


Director of Corporate Affairs, BBC

London W1