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Free-To-View Broadcasting

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with broadcasters on the retention of free-to-view broadcasting on digital satellite. [130582]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to the chief executives of ITV, Channel Four and Five to ask them how they intend to solve this very serious issue. Their responses indicate they are considering various options. We are very closely monitoring their discussions, which I understand are making progress, and while it will not be appropriate to comment on current commercial negotiations, I will place details of their outcome on our website www.digitaltelevision.gov.uk.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with OFCOM on free-to-view broadcasting on digital satellite. [130584]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not had any formal discussions with OFCOM on this matter, as OFCOM has not yet been transferred any relevant functions. But this is a very serious issue which my Department as well as the ITC are monitoring.