HC Deb 04 July 1989 vol 156 c101W
Mr. Gorst

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the proposal in the broadcasting White Paper that the night hours of one BBC channel should be assigned to the ITC.

Mr. Hurd

We have considered carefully the comments we have received on this proposal. We have decided on balance that it would be better to leave the BBC with both sets of night hours in order to enable a faster start to be made with the development of subscription services. The BBC will, therefore, be permitted to retain both sets, on condition that it makes the fullest possible use of them for raising subscription income, consistent with its public service obligations.

When we come to consider the level of the licence fee from April 1991 onwards we will review the use which the BBC is making of the night hours. The level at which the licence fee is set will take account of the BBC's capacity to generate subscription revenue from two sets of night hours.