BBC digital radio services praised

MUMBAI: There is some good news for the BBC following the criticism that its digital television channels got several days ago. An independent review has praised the corporation's UK digital radio services.



The review, commissioned by the UK department of Culture, Media & Sport, looked at 1Xtra, 6Music, BBC7, BBC Asian Network and Five Live Sports Extra as part of the ongoing Charter Renewal process and said the services went "above and beyond" the conditions laid down by the secretary of state..

For The Asian Network while the report noted that it had made a professional start it was time to step up a gear in editorial ambition and develop a more innovative outlook. The report suggested that it could be relocated to a single site, possibly in Birmingham, to help its transition from regional to national station. It is currently based in Leicester.



Steps should be taken by The Asian Network to tackle the perceived inequality in treatment of different Asian communities. At least one language should be included from South India or Sri Lanka.

The BBC should also look to understand the specific conditions of the Asian advertising market in relations with commercial stations.

As far as another station 6 Music is concerned while there is criticism that the BBC is spending a relatively large amount of money on a station with relatively few listeners the report stated that this should not be a concern if it continues to produce a distinctive, modern public service. It has defined its role with great success.

The station's brief needs to be more clearly set out and its remit defined by "quantative measures". The BBC Governors should draft a more detailed remit accurately describing the station's character.

Regarding BBC7 the report noted its success in attracting an older, upmarket audience and is playing an important factor in people buying digital radio sets.

Its originated children's programming is a genuine adornment to British broadcasting and one no commercial station would do. However the overall benefits of BBC7 are limited by it being primarily an archive network.

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