The BBC’s commercial activities

  • Start: 15 December 2016
  • Status: Open
  • End: 13 February 2017

A consultation on Ofcom’s proposed requirements and guidance. 

The role of the BBC is to produce high quality and distinctive programmes and services which educate, inform and entertain.

As a large publicly-funded organisation, the BBC may have an impact on competition in the wider media market. It may have a positive effect by stimulating demand or encouraging sector wide innovation, for example. But in fulfilling its objectives, the BBC may also harm the ability of others to compete effectively.

The BBC may carry out commercial activities but only through subsidiary companies. There is a risk that without appropriate safeguards the BBC’s public funding could be used to subsidise or benefit these subsidiaries by offering services on favourable terms. This could distort competition by giving its commercial subsidiaries an unfair competitive advantage.

This document is a consultation on the requirements we intend to place on the BBC to avoid this happening. We also consult on the process that Ofcom will use to assess whether material changes to commercial activities can go ahead.

The BBC’s commercial activities PDF, 297.0 KB


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