Into the next year

Posted on 7 May 2006 in BBC red button (No comments)

The other day the BBC published it's Statements of Programme Policy for 2006/2007. This is where the BBC publicly sets out it's plans for the year ahead. Such things as investing in drama, or revamping the 6music schedule.

So I thought it would be interesting to take a look and see what's going to be happening in my area of BBCi. I'll obviously start by saying that below is a personal opinion and a personal view, not an official one at all.

So what's on the list? It starts off pretty quietly with a promise to continue the existing Local TV pilot for the West Midlands (page 1700 on satellite), and to carry enhanced coverage for news and sport events. It's then followed by this:

In addition, if feasible, we will increase the number of news loops on Freeview.

Statements of Programme Policy for 2006/2007

I love that, once again, an internal name gets thrust into the limelight. Publicly it's News Multiscreen, but there's an old habit of calling them News Loops inside the BBC. These little internal names do have a habit of creeping out into the open - QuickCodes managed it in 2004, whilst Digitext appeared more recently.

Anyway, note the nice caveat - if feasible. There may be ways if an upgrade to the code (MHEG) which is used to build interactive services gets rolled out to most set top boxes. I guess that's where the feasible thing comes in.

Next is education and learning, which promises to extend the Bitesize service. The same application has been reused every year for the last few years, so it's perhaps due a spruce up. There's also some stuff about improving the CBBC and CBeebies services.

Following that is putting up a radio service on cable, which has had plenty of mentions already so we won't spend too much time on that.

The travel news service is going to be refreshed apparently, which is a bit late because the improved service has been on Freeview for some time, and went up on Cable recently! Okay so satellite viewers don't have it yet, but they will! There's some commitments about enhancing the Your Stories service (satellite, page 5670) as well.

So far, so content based. Then we get to Building Digital Britain and that's where we get a bit more interesting.

FreeSat gets another of it's regular mentions to the world, and should it ever launch, BBCi will be there.

There's a "technical trial for catch-up television and navigation on personal video recorders" which is nice, and then there's "Extend BBCi to provide access and navigation to the BBC's on-demand content (in ntl video-on-demand trials)." which is why, if you're a cable user and with NTL, you might see a link marked 'Catch Up TV' when you load BBCi, so there's a big tick on that one before we've even finished reading the document!

That aside, the on demand world is one the BBC's keeping an eye on - witness the podcast trials and investment in that 'iPlayer' thing as witness to that - so it's no surprise to see it mentioned here.

Finally, there's a list of key priorities - I'll print them verbatim here:

  • Increase reach, by continuing to improve and broaden our content offer.
  • Improve service quality and impact through improved navigation and by at least maintaining access times at 2005/2006 levels.
  • Subject to necessary approvals, enable access to BBC on-demand services through BBCi.

Statements of Programme Policy for 2006/2007

It's interesting after last years specific quotes about decreasing the speed of service access, that this year the statement merely goes for a 'maintain what we have now'. In other words, no matter what I do, I'm not allowed to make the service slower this year. Oh well, there's my plans for the next year out of the window then...

< previous | top ^ | next >

Share this page on

Have your say

Sorry but comments on this post are closed, but you can still email me.

Cookies Policy | Contact Us