BBC Trust: conditions for approving BBC participation in the Canvas (YouView) project

PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM in Archived Posts
The BBC Trust approved BBC participation in the YouView project, subject to certain conditions. (http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/a...)

Section 1.20, entitled "Free to air always", states that users "will always be able to access Canvas free to air" although they may be charged for additional pay services, the one-off purchase of the device, and broadband subscription charges.

Is this equivalent to requiring that the box must be made available for retail sale? After re-reading it, I don't think it does, but I'd like to hear others' views. I may be overlooking something.

Comments

  • majonesmajones Member Posts: 79
    edited 17 June 2015, 3:16PM
    The early indications do suggest that YouView is being positioned by the ISPs (BT and TalkTalk) as "their" product. But it simply isn't, and as the new non-ISP providers of online content arrive to supplement the terrestrial channels' on-demand offerings and Sky's NowTV, so the apparent dominance of the ISPs will be seen in a more balanced way. Meanwhile, good old Humax is flying the flag for non-ISP sourcing of YouView, and I'm sure YouView itself is very happy about that.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    majones 3 minutes ago
    The early indications do suggest that YouView is being positioned by the ISPs (BT and TalkTalk) as "their" product.
    They don't actually.

    Which is why the product isn't presented as 'TalkTalk YouView' and 'BT YouView', it's presented as (up to now) 'YouView from TalkTalk', 'YouView from BT' and 'YouView from Kcom'.

    And I hope that makes sense.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
    edited 18 April 2013, 4:51PM
    majones - did you have a look at the wording of the BBC Trust document I linked to? Do you think it stipulates that the box has to be available for retail purchase?

    The relevant section reads as follows:
    Free to air always
    1.20. This approval is given subject to the "free-to-air principle", that users will always be able to
    access Canvas free to air, although they may be charged for:
    • additional pay services that third parties might opt to provide via the Canvas
    platform;
    • the one-off purchase cost of the device used to access the platform; and
    • any broadband subscription fees.
    It seems to me these conditions are satisfied by the present TT and BT arrangements, in that broadband customers can use a YouView box to access only FTA content (paying nothing but broadband charges) or they can opt to pay for additional services. TT and BT have opted to give the box away for free, as a lure to get customers to sign a contract, but they could charge for the box if they chose to do so, without infringing the BBC Trust's conditions.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Sorry to ask a stupid question but whats the whole point your trying to make?
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    She's trying to disprove a statement that I've posted previously, namely that being able to buy the boxes retail was a condition the BBC Trust imposed on the BBC's involvement.

    She posted it too today - http://community.youview.com/youview/... - before deciding to then argue the toss otherwise in a now deleted post.

    BT doesn't offer the box without a minimum mandatory £5 subscription so the Trust's requirement isn't met via their offering.

    Either way, the boxes ARE available retail and sell to those who want them. That's a good thing.
  • PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
    edited 18 April 2013, 5:10PM
    Visionman asked
    Sorry to ask a stupid question but whats the whole point your trying to make?
    As Martin said, he has interpreted the Trust conditions as requiring retail sale of the box. I'm now wondering whether that really is the case.

    I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything, I'm just trying to understand.
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    aisha

    Not just me.

    But for once why don't you focus on what YOU think?

    Specifically how you think the requirement for the LF-funded project and BBC programmes to be accessible without a subscription is in any way fulfilled by having to pay BT a mandatory monthly subscription of at least £5 you get a box from them:

    http://www.productsandservices.bt.com...
  • PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
    edited 18 April 2013, 5:17PM
    Martin - I don't know why you seem to be taking my question personally. I didn't delete my post in the other thread in which I raised the question. I did delete a subsequent post, because gwatuk had rightly objected to his thread being veered off-topic. So I apologized and started a separate thread - this one.

    It isn't intended as any kind of attack on you.
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    Who mentioned attacks?

    But for the record, you sought to try and correct me in one thread then started another asking others to question and correct the baseline of a statement I've made a number of times.

    Rather than worry about what I or others think why not explain how you believe the need to pay a mandatory subscription to BT in return for the box is at all consistent with:

    The Trust remains of the view that there should always be an ability to access the Canvas platform on a subscription-free basis given the public value ascribed to preserving a free to air point of access for content on DTT (the "free to air" principle). By this the Trust means that third parties adopting the Canvas core technical specification and UI should not be able to charge for use other than the one-off cost of purchasing the set-top box (or other device) and other services required (such as broadband connection) to access the platform. Such third parties can, however, charge for additional services that they opt to support via the platform consistent with the principle of openness and business model neutrality governing Canvas.

    To help you, ask yourself the following question: Is having to pay BT at least £5 in return for the box every month for a minimum turn the same as accessing YouView "on a subscription-free basis" ?
  • PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
    edited 18 April 2013, 5:28PM
    Specifically how you think the requirement for the LF-funded project and BBC programmes to be accessible without a subscription is in any way fulfilled by having to pay BT a mandatory monthly subscription of at least £5 you get a box from them
    BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription.

    You can't get a FREE box unless you pay for additional services. Does that mean it's necessary for YouView boxes to be sold retail? I'm still waiting to hear others' views.
  • edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    >> BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription.

    You really are on a deliberate wind up aren't you?

    BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription only because the boxes are sold retail.

    To get a box from BT you have to agree to a minimum term contract subscription of at least £5 for a TV package. That is not "without paying a subscription."

    We both know you're not stupid enough not to understand the difference so exactly what is the game you're playing here?

    >> You can't get a FREE box unless you pay for additional services. Does that mean it's necessary for YouView boxes to be sold retail?

    So if the box wasn't sold retail and as BT require a mandatory subscription to get one, how exactly would the "without a subscription" requirement be fulfilled?

    >> I'm still waiting to hear others' views.

    Why not try having a view of your own and posting it here?
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    It's not often I agree with Martin Smileybut he's right. So will you please say what you actually think?

    And will you please state what is the actual point of what your trying to say? Pretty please? .Smiley
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • edited 18 April 2013, 5:45PM
    Visionman said:

    It's not often I agree with Martin Smileybut he's right. So will you please say what you actually think?

    And will you please state what is the actual point of what your trying to say? Pretty please? .Smiley

    >> It's not often I agree with Martin but he's right.

    Don't feel too bad, I am the proverbial broken clock. :P
  • PPP QQQPPP QQQ Member Posts: 857
    edited 22 April 2013, 6:50PM
    I'm not playing any game, Martin, and I don't appreciate being accused of it. Why must you be so unpleasant?
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    Then answer the very simple question:

    If the box wasn't sold retail and as BT require a mandatory subscription to get one, how exactly would the "without a subscription" requirement be fulfilled?

    You must have a view of your own, otherwise why would you question my earlier comments?

    >> Why must you be so unpleasant?

    Why are you on such an obvious and deliberate wind-up? In this case, one begets the other.
  • majonesmajones Member Posts: 79
    edited 17 June 2015, 3:16PM
    In my opinion, Aisha is asking a perfectly reasonable question. She started this thread because it arose from issues raised in another thread, and that thread was not the place to progress the discussion.

    Aisha / Martin - I have looked at the BBC Trust document and agree that the "free-to-air principle" of Clause 1.20 is as clear as the BBC Trust chose to be, but it isn't definitive. But my guess is that the BBC would consider the provisioning of YouView solely through subscription packages tied to ISPs as a failure of the model, which would expose the relevant ISPs to the consequences of the BBC pulling the plug with the inevitable subsequent collapse of YouView. That will leave the ISPs high and dry, so they won't let it happen.
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    >> Aisha is asking a perfectly reasonable question.

    It's equally perfectly reasonable to ask someone who is seeking to have others dismantle your view/opinion/understanding to post their own rather then just hide behind other people's.

    Aisha, somewhat uniquely, had sufficient doubts to publicly question my comments without sufficient certainty to post her own.
  • VisionmanVisionman Member, Super User Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 February 2017, 1:39PM
    Martin 1 hour ago
    >> Aisha is asking a perfectly reasonable question.

    It's equally perfectly reasonable to ask someone who is seeking to have others dismantle your view/opinion/understanding to post their own rather then just hide behind other people's.

    Aisha, somewhat uniquely, had sufficient doubts to publicly question my comments without sufficient certainty to post her own.
    This will be my last post on this thread, as I can see where its going. So...

    I was asking a genuine question. Whereas you took Aisha's questioning of what you said (which is anyones right) as nothing more than a personal attack upon your person.

    I don't think you get this opinion generated/discussion internet forum thingy-ma-jig .

    Sad. You are truly sad. And can be very nasty too.

    Bye.
    I'm now happy with the disagree icon, because its gone.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,650 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    Martin, I think you are both right and wrong. The BBC Trust requires that licence payers (which i take to mean all those covered by a TV licence and not just the person who actually forks over the £40 per quarter, but still not therefore every member of the public) can be charged the one-off cost of the box, but not a subscription, to watch it free-to-air.

    Being charged the one-off cost does not imply, in the sense of YouView boxes being sold in retail shops, that they must be available for retail sale; they could be supplied, by mail order only, exclusively from YouView for instance.

    You might argue that this is 'retail sale', which in a sense it is, though not perhaps as it would be generally understood. Which is why, perhaps, the BBC Trust was careful to speak of 'charging the one-off cost'.

    Where it gets interesting is in para 4.35 of the referenced document, where it says that third parties should not be able to charge for use other than the one-off cost and for value-added services. But, as you describe, only the BT £12.50 package adheres to this; the £5 package merely gives you access to pay for value-added services on usage, and does not give you any value-added services at all.

    So it is irrelevant to this if you can get a YV box 'retail' or not, or even if you can get a box free from BT, something BT are under no obligation to provide, naturally enough.

    But however you slice it; BT are supplying YV boxes on a basis that seemingly breaches 4.35, which I think is what you have pointed out. Perhaps someone should ask the Trust what they think?

    As to YouView providing boxes on subscription, which is the point I originally raised (and about which I feel a little guilty as however indirectly, it has led to the monstering of Aisha here), I'm sure it could have been done by offering the 'retail' one-off purchase option, alongside a value-added instalment/support plan, charged on a subscription basis.

    A little cumbersome perhaps, to meet the BBC Trust's strictures. But I'm fairly sure that 4.35 was slightly badly worded, and meant only that people would not be charged for watching FTA broadcasts and/or catchup on YouView any more than they would on a TV or a computer, and this all got a bit tangled up with the cost of the hardware, and this comment about 'one-off', in a world where things are bought on payment plans of one sort or another.

    Kudos though, to Aisha for raising the question here, and for being open about asking it in a spirit of inquiry; not every thread arrives pre-loaded with either the knowledge or the prejudices of the OP.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    Hi Roy

    >> Being charged the one-off cost does not imply, in the sense of YouView boxes being sold in retail shops, that they must be available for retail sale; they could be supplied, by mail order only, exclusively from YouView for instance.

    Where I've used "retail' I've done so merely as shorthand for 'available to buy from a means other than an ISP'.

    Online from Amazon, from an Argos high street, via a YouView call centre, I'd consider any sale direct to the end user to be 'retail'. Others may wish to argue that definition but the dictionaries seem to be with me if they do:

    the sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale:


    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definit...

    >> BT are supplying YV boxes on a basis that seemingly breaches 4.35, which I think is what you have pointed out

    I think the purpose of the BBC Trust's condition was that the boxes had to be available for the one-off cost, not that they could only be, or must always be available only the one-off cost.

    i.e. it's fine of people want to take a subscription based box but that there had to be an alternative for those who'd prefer not to.

    >> it has led to the monstering of Aisha here

    We'll have to disagree, I don't believe Aisha has been 'monstered'.

    If you're going to invite others to line up and tell someone that they're wrong, be prepared to set out why you think that might be the case or don't start the thread in the first place.

    Personally I'm happy to discuss and debate with anyone, but having a view repeatedly questioned by someone unwilling to actually set out their own is pretty irksome.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,650 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 March 2017, 9:48PM
    Hi Martin

    No, we don't need to get hung up on 'retail' or even 'one-off cost', I think the Trust just meant that you should be able to obtain and own the box for a defined amount, and not an indefinite ongoing cost of some sort. Would you agree with that?

    Re the subscription, though, please re-read 4.35:

    The Trust remains of the view that there should always be an ability to access the Canvas platform on a subscription-free basis given the public value ascribed to preserving a free to air point of access for content on DTT (the "free to air" principle). By this the Trust means that third parties adopting the Canvas core technical specification and UI should not be able to charge for use other than the one-off cost of purchasing the set-top box (or other device) and other services required (such as broadband connection) to access the platform. Such third parties can, however, charge for additional services that they opt to support via the platform consistent with the principle of openness and business model neutrality governing Canvas.

    It does seem to me that BT's £5 offering breaches this, though their £12.50 one doesn't.

    Re Aisha, see the bit I added to my posting in final editing; before I'd seen what you posted above, but after you'd read my posting before its final edit. Which is a little unfair on you, I know, but had no sinister intent.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • CiceroCicero Member Posts: 345
    edited 19 April 2013, 9:39AM
    Martin quotes the Oxford Dictionaries site to justify his use of 'retail'.

    But then says : -

    "We'll have to disagree, I don't believe Aisha has been 'monstered'."

    Oxford Dictionaries defines this as 'criticize or reprimand severely'

    If Martin's treatment of Aisha doesn't meet this criterion then I don't know what he thinks would.
  • edited 26 September 2013, 7:34AM
    >> No, we don't need to get hung up on 'retail' or even 'one-off cost', I think the Trust just meant that you should be able to obtain and own the box for a defined amount, and not an indefinite ongoing cost of some sort.

    Agree 100% that that was the intent and IMO the BT and TT offers don't comply with that as ownership is dependent on a minimum term subscription contract.

    BT's £5 offer includes access on a PAYG basis to their VoD library. Whether or not that's enough to satisfy the BBC Trust I leave to them and BT to fight out in the YouView board room.

    However I still think the condition is not there to prohibit providing the box on a deal like the BT £5 one, merely to require YouView worked with at least one manufacturer/partner to ensure the service can also be bought outright as an alternative.

    Re your edit, the editing on this forum is as bad as the rest of it, I infer no malice from you adding or editing a post, it's often far better to edit than add another post. :-)

    As for Aisha, I'm not really comfortable discussing someone who is now not participating in the thread.
  • CiceroCicero Member Posts: 345
    edited 18 April 2013, 10:47PM
    'As for Aisha, I'm not really comfortable discussing someone who is now not participating in the thread.'

    So you maintain you do have some limits.
  • SW1SW1 Member Posts: 240
    edited 19 April 2013, 12:31PM
    Martin1 said:

    >> BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription.

    You really are on a deliberate wind up aren't you?

    BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription only because the boxes are sold retail.

    To get a box from BT you have to agree to a minimum term contract subscription of at least £5 for a TV package. That is not "without paying a subscription."

    We both know you're not stupid enough not to understand the difference so exactly what is the game you're playing here?

    >> You can't get a FREE box unless you pay for additional services. Does that mean it's necessary for YouView boxes to be sold retail?

    So if the box wasn't sold retail and as BT require a mandatory subscription to get one, how exactly would the "without a subscription" requirement be fulfilled?

    >> I'm still waiting to hear others' views.

    Why not try having a view of your own and posting it here?

    BT Broadband is a Retail Service.
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,650 ✭✭✭
    edited 7 December 2016, 7:38AM
    Martin1 said:

    >> BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription.

    You really are on a deliberate wind up aren't you?

    BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription only because the boxes are sold retail.

    To get a box from BT you have to agree to a minimum term contract subscription of at least £5 for a TV package. That is not "without paying a subscription."

    We both know you're not stupid enough not to understand the difference so exactly what is the game you're playing here?

    >> You can't get a FREE box unless you pay for additional services. Does that mean it's necessary for YouView boxes to be sold retail?

    So if the box wasn't sold retail and as BT require a mandatory subscription to get one, how exactly would the "without a subscription" requirement be fulfilled?

    >> I'm still waiting to hear others' views.

    Why not try having a view of your own and posting it here?

    But BT aren't retailing YouView boxes. They are supplying them only via subscription schemes. The £12.50 scheme is OK, as it covers value-added services; the £5 scheme not, as it only purchases an entitlement to request and pay for value-adds, not any value-adds themselves.

    But either way, the BBC Trust statement says what each supplier of YouView boxes should be bound by, and I think it mandates that BT, individually, has to offer a subscription-free YouView service, alongside whatever else it offers, which cannot include the £5 service, as it does not qualify.

    And it's not enough for BT to point out that you can get a box from a retailer, they have themselves to offer that option. Even if it is to sell the box at full list, an offer that probably no-one would take up, given the more attractive subscription offers.

    The £5 offer they could easily legitimise by offering at least some value-add for the base £5, so it wouldn't be hard for BT to go legit.

    But at the moment, they are arguably operating outside of the conditions on which the BBC Trust sanctioned involvement in YouView.

    So, going back to Aisha's question about what the BBC Trust mandated being equivalent to having to have the box on retail sale, no it isn't. I interpret it as mandating that every box supplier must offer a subscription-free acquisition option, and may not offer a subscription option for the box with no value-add services.

    It would be fine to sell the box on an instalment plan - £5 a month for 50 months, say - but not to run indefinitely.
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • edited 20 April 2013, 7:37AM
    Martin1 said:

    >> BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription.

    You really are on a deliberate wind up aren't you?

    BT broadband customers can use YouView FTA services without paying a subscription only because the boxes are sold retail.

    To get a box from BT you have to agree to a minimum term contract subscription of at least £5 for a TV package. That is not "without paying a subscription."

    We both know you're not stupid enough not to understand the difference so exactly what is the game you're playing here?

    >> You can't get a FREE box unless you pay for additional services. Does that mean it's necessary for YouView boxes to be sold retail?

    So if the box wasn't sold retail and as BT require a mandatory subscription to get one, how exactly would the "without a subscription" requirement be fulfilled?

    >> I'm still waiting to hear others' views.

    Why not try having a view of your own and posting it here?

    >> I interpret it as mandating that every box supplier must offer a subscription-free acquisition option, and may not offer a subscription option for the box with no value-ad services.

    Interesting, and I see how the text can be read that way. I still think the Trust meant only that there had to be a subscription free means of accessing the service, not that every offerer of the service had to offer a subscription free means.

    While the Trust don't strike me as the most proactive of bodies, I'd suggest that if you're correct they would have taken some action to enforce the conditions they imposed?

    Whereas I suspect/would suggest that having even a single box type available retail is considered within YouView and its shareholders to have ticked the 'available subscription-free' box.

    As LF-payers I guess one of more of us could email the BBC Trust and as them for their view on the matter?
Sign In or Register to comment.