The BBC Trust has rejected plans to launch a £68million network of local video websites around the UK.
The decision was announced this morning and followed a report by Ofcom which found that the launch of local video services would see the BBC’s annual revenues fall by up to 4%.
It was concluded that the BBC should focus on improving its existing regional services.
The decision was praised by David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society which has been active in condemning the plans at a time when regional newspapers circulation is already in decline.
“We are pleased that the BBC Trust and Ofcom have responded to the industry’s concerns and rejected the BBC Local Video plans for the time being. This is a proposal which the BBC should never have made and would have severely reduced consumers’ media choice and the rich tapestry of local news and information provision in the UK,” said Newell.
“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss the future roles of the BBC, BBC Trust and Ofcom and the current challenges facing regional and local media. We must be on our guard to ensure that the BBC is not allowed to expand its local services by alternative means.”