Letter: Europe can save TV from Murdoch

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Sir: You are right to stress the importance of digital broadcasting and the risks of dominance of the gateway.

Viewers will choose to take their programmes through different delivery systems. Some will choose to take them from digital terrestrial broadcasting, some through satellite and some through cable. Each delivery system will cater for the particular needs of different groups of viewers. The BBC has a remit, through its Royal Charter, to provide public service broadcast programmes, free-to-air, to every viewer in the United Kingdom that we can reach. That remit remains as valid in the digital age as it does today.

The BBC is making a sizeable investment in digital programmes to give the viewer better picture and sound quality, and to provide the viewer with new free-to-air channels and services.

Every licence fee payer with a digital set should be able to receive these, regardless of the delivery system they have chosen; it would be absurd of us to ignore satellite in this respect.

The BBC has played a leading role in developing digital terrestrial technology. We are strongly committed to digital terrestrial, which we believe will enhance viewers' choice.

We have also taken the lead in pressing the politicians, both at Westminster and in Europe, to put in place a regulatory regime to encourage the take- up of digital on all systems and maximise competition and viewer choice. Some progress has been made, but more still needs to be done if audiences are to be the true beneficiaries of the digital age.

COLIN BROWNE

Director of Corporate Affairs, BBC

London W1

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