The BBC Trust today published details of the BBC’s local broadband “video journalism” proposal, which has so worried commercial regional publishers. The details here reveal the plan would require a £23 million annual budget by 2012/13, starting in 2009/10 for a total £68 million investment over the period – or 90 percent of the total incremental spend over the next five years, which is already due to come from above bbc.co.uk’s baseline allocation. On average, each local operation would cost £350,000.
The project would cover 60 areas in the English language and five in Welsh, all mapped on to existing BBC Local regions. The BBC is targeting 3.2 million weekly hits (11 percent of UK households) by 2013/14. It says it will offer the majority of its branded news videos for syndication to local news sites and, indicating possible joint ventures with commercial rivals, it’s promised an annual £800,000 fund by 2012/13 to buy in local news from those rivals. More after the jump…
— 10 stories per day: “Three daily bulletins for each of news, sports and weather would be available to be updated up to three times per day, per area. An upper limit of 10 stories (excluding the daily bulletins), not exceeding 20 minutes in total per day, per local area, would apply”. In a separate part of the proposal, however, the BBC says it will be a maximum of 26 minutes per area per day. Each bulletin would be 45 to 90 seconds. London would be allowed “up to 20 stories daily, or 40 minutes in total; including bulletins this would not exceed 46 minutes of content per day”.
— Live, mobile and UGC: There will be “occasional live streams of key local events” – a maximum of 10 per year per area (ie. 30 in total). And: “The content would also be remodelled in a format suitable for mobile phone use and be available on the BBC mobile website.” Viewers will get to submit their own video stories – and these won’t be subject to any cap on story count. “Users would be able to tag, rate and share local video stories.”
The BBC argues it already produces around 100 videos per week on its local sites, so expects to triple this to 300. Material will be repurposed for TV as well as big screens in city centres. There is a token gesture to offer links to other news providers. As previously reported, the BBC Trust will now begin a super-long eight-month public value test to check on market impact and public value, with a decision due by February 2009.