The UK broadcasting market is undergoing rapid and far-reaching change. The scope for consumer choice is widening significantly with the proliferation of new digital channels and services. New technologies are posing a threat to the idea of predetermined schedules, while the rapid growth of broadband will bring with it access to a potentially limitless range of content on-demand. To some, these technological advances will usher in a new age where public service television can be left largely to the market. The licence fee should be replaced with subscription payments for the BBC, and public funding restricted to a limited amount of socially desirable programming that the market will not provide. But to others, broadcasting continues to display special characteristics and the potential - and the need - for public intervention and funding has never been greater. The essays in this publication were commissioned by the BBC as a contribution to the debate about the provision of public service television in the digital age and the BBC's public purposes and funding.
The contributors include Dieter Helm of New College, Oxford, Andrew Graham Master, Balliol College, Oxford and Gavyn Davies, Former Chairman of the BBC.