HC Deb 16 September 2004 vol 424 cc1701-2WS
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions she has had with(a) the BBC and (b) BSkyB on the options that will be available for free-to-view digital satellite television in areas where this is the only practical way of receiving terrestrial stations; [188413]

(2) what plans she has to enhance the affordability of digital television when the only means of access is via satellite. [188416]

Estelle Morris

The Department is in ongoing discussions with broadcasters, including the BBC and BskyB, and with Ofcom about the further development of digital television services. BSkyB has announced plans to offer a free-to-air satellite service; in their report "Building public value" BBC declared that they "will work with others to develop, market and promote" a free digital satellite service. Ofcom have indicated that they will consider whether regulatory intervention is needed to secure a viable free-to-view satellite proposition before switchover.