625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)
625 - Right to Reply
Right to Reply:
Future TV

Created  Su 6-Feb-00

Who will control TV in the future? Will there be less regulation? How will the internet be involved? Will there be a single ITV company and will the BBC still exist? These were some of the subjects under discussion in the first Right to Reply of 2000, a special looking at the future of TV. I took part in the programme, making a short film, the transcript of which appears below. This was followed by a disussion featuring top executives representing the BBC and ITV.

Thanks to Rob Sedgebeer for capturing, editing and encoding the video clips.

From Right to Reply shown on C4 on Fr 7-Jan-00 at 19:30, repeated Tu 11-Jan-00 at 03:40
and shown on S4C on Mo 10-Jan-00 at 12:00

Copyright © 2000 Channel 4 Television Corporation.


Itís television, but not as we know it. Welcome to a future where broadcasting becomes a global free-for-all.


Roger Bolton


Behind the TV screen, the battle lines are forming. At issue, who will win the fight for viewers in the 21st Century. On one side, the multi-national broadcasters whoíve set their sights in the British market. On the other, the terrestrial channels like ITV and the BBC looking to protect their traditional share of the audience. Whoís likely to win this battle for control? Andrew Wiseman explores one possible scenario.

News Jingle leads into "Newscast 2010"

Television in centre of screen grows larger.

Corner of newscast features ITV, BBC and ITC logos which explode/fragment.

"The Government has unveiled its new broadcasting bill, opening the way to thousands of new TV channels."

"After years of speculation, the new Bill will allow global broadcasters into the British marketplace, will limit regulation and will end the traditional dominance of the BBC and ITV."

Science fiction? Perhaps not, because the changes that could lead to a television free-for-all in the future are taking shape right now.

Prof Roger Silverstone

Prof Roger Silverstone
Media & Communications
London School of Economics

There will be nothing that we canít access, no newspaper that we canít read, no television programme that we canít see, wherever it comes from.


The British TV market is about to explode. The multi-national broadcasters are moving in.
  Television has become a global industry. The big players, BskyB, News International, CNN, Time Warner are players with massive resources and massive power in the market-place.
And the Internet will soon be broadcasting too.

Polly Springer

Polly Springer
Web Journalist,
The Industry Standard

The technology companies that started the internet revolution have become the big media players of the future.

In this multi-channel, international future what will happen to the British tradition of broadcasting?
ITV is already gearing up for a battle to survive. Two major franchise holders, Carlton and United, are planning to merge.

Matthew Horsman

Matthew Horsman
Media Analyst,
Investec Henderson Crosthwaite

I think itís now inevitable that there will be one single ITV broadcaster. I think the Government is minded to see a single owner of ITV emerge from all this, an owner that can compete with Rupert Murdoch, can compete with the big cable operators, mostly American owned. In other words there might be a British champion.

(Carlton ident)

In the view of some experts, a commercially driven single ITV will mean less regulation.

  I think you will see regionalism being under pressure and under threat, unless itís commercially sensible to deliver a regional programme. I think you will not see the kind of micro legislation that you currently have that says there have to be X number of hours of religious programming, Y number of hours of childrenís programming.
PTC Ė bank of many screens
In a broadcasting world with increased choice what of public service broadcasting?

The BBC will learn later this month whether it will be allowed a special licence fee to pay for its digital output.

Whatever the outcome, it'll be an important stage in the argument about whether the licence fee or the traditional role of the BBC can continue in a multi-channel world.


Greg Dyke, recently announced his intention Ė Greg Dykeís the new Director General of the BBC Ė recently announced his intention to develop educational programming for the nation and this may well be a sign of the kinds of things itís going to do. Rather than to provide programming for everyone, irrespective of who they are, itís going to specialise in quality and particular programming for particular sectors of the population, who may well find themselves having to pay in a way that they donít now.


With the possible retreat of regulators and public service broadcasting, TV will be about money more than ever before.


All of industry and all of media is looking at interactive TV as the shopping mall of the future. So be prepared for, when youíre watching a sports match, to be offered seven or eight chances to buy kit, to buy tickets.

  And the free-to-air TV weíve been used to for over fifty years, will become little more than a shop window for Pay TV.

Traditional broadcasters are using their free TV offering really as a way of pushing eyeballs into the more expensive pay opportunities and indeed onto the web and onto mobile phones.


The battle for the future of broadcasting has begun. But who will be the victors and the casualties?


Watch the video!

In the first clip you can see the film whose transcript appears above. This film was followed by a studio discussion chaired by Roger Bolton. The BBC was represented by Patricia Hodgson, Director of Policy & Planning. ITV's representative was Andrea Wonfor, Joint Managing Director of Granada Media Productions. The discussion can be seen in the second clip.

These clips are in RealMedia G2 format. You must have an appropriate player installed to see them. If there isn't a G2 player for your system, the soundtrack is available in MP3 format.

The film
Play Now (5'31")
Play Now (4'35")
High Quality G2 80 K/s 2 803 643 bytes
Low Quality G2 34 K/s 1 203 956 bytes
Audio Only MP3 545 813 bytes

The discussion
Play Now (5'31")
Play Now (5'31")
High Quality G2 80 K/s 3 383 311 bytes
Low Quality G2 34 K/s 1 451 485 bytes
Audio Only MP3 658 565 bytes

Other Right to Reply pages at this site...

Full Contents Channel 5 Preview Channel 5 Reception PDC Widescreen DOGs Branding Future TV

625 TV Logos Programme Delivery Control Explained Public Information Films Channel 5 Invasion of the Web Snatchers Digital TV - Beyond the Hype
TV Room TV Logos PDC
PIFs Channel 5 Web
Digital TV


625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)