BBC Worldwide should be part-privatised: Lords

A House of Lords committee has recommended that BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide should be part-privatised so that it could emerge as a major global distributor of British TV programmes.

The Lords Committee on Communications said part-privatisation of BBC Worldwide would generate additional profits, jobs and opportunities for British production companies.

MPs have been criticizing BBC Worldwide for developing very fast and harming its commercial rivals. Last year, BBC Trust ordered BBC Worldwide to limit its merger as well as takeover activities.

Lord Fowler, who headed the committee, said that BBC Worldwide had succeeded in developing the commercial income of the BBC.

Speaking on the issue, he further said, “All the evidence suggests that there is further scope to expand but to do this will require private capital.”

The committee also criticized the Government for not understanding the value of Project Kangaroo, which was blocked by the Competition commission last year. In addition, the committee called for a law to ban camcorders in cinemas.

BBC Worldwide had pocketed a record operating profit of 117.7 million pounds in 2008.