BBC 'exploring £1bn-plus bond for digital'

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The cost of meeting the BBC's digital switchover costs could be partly met by a bond raising more than £1bn for the corporation.

The Times said the BBC faced a £700m bill to convert its transmission systems to digital, plus a further £200m to fund its share of the industry's switchover marketing costs. A further £500m might need to be found to implement the Government's promised subsidy for elderly and disabled households.

According to BBC sources contacted by The Times, the corporation is looking at a bond to raise the £1.4bn that could be required.

Meanwhile, Broadcast magazine said the Government had hired accountants PKF to examine the BBC's above-inflation licence fee bid. Broadcast said PKF was last used in 2000 by former culture secretary Chris Smith, and resulted in the corporation's request for £700m in extra funding being cut back to £200m, and the need to find £1bn of self-help money.

Lovelace Consulting  |  13.10.2005

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