Sport on BBC HD
The sport v other programmes debate is an interesting one - and one we also have internally.
Between you, you represent the polarised opinions absolutely: If you love sport, you'd be happy to have not a lot else on BBC HD; if you don't, then the sport we already do is quite enough.
My views on our sports provision are that if we could direct more money into moving the events we are responsible for faster into HD we probably would. But Andrew Knight is mistaken in suggesting that decisions to broadcast sport in HD are cost neutral. They aren't. And since the money comes out of the general licence fee pot, rather than direct subscription income, we have to balance how we spend it across all interests and activities.
As far as F1 goes, as some of you recognise, the situation is not a result of a lack of pressure from the BBC. I have no doubt that F1 will move to HD at some point, but I tend to focus my energies on the content where my work can make a real difference to the point at which it migrates to HD delivery.
Heilanner is just one of those who pleads for a mixed schedule - pace andrew knight, we do commission research and it suggests that actually what people want is a very wide range of programmes. So that's what we try to offer. I can say that over the coming months, we are moving across to HD a number of well known BBC brands. Some of them will take a little while to come to screen, but the next series of Ashes to Ashes and Waterloo Road will be made in HD, as will Mary Queen of Shops and The Restaurant, and Countryfile and the Culture Show will also be arriving soon. There will be more. I know the programme that all those who write on this blog seem to be waiting for is Top Gear. Conversations are going well, and I hope to have more news soon. As for Wednesday83's request about Casualty, the series will move when it moves filming locations to Wales where a new drama area is being built to accommodate the production. The team will probably begin working in HD in 2011 to deliver to air from 2012.
Finally, let me just correct the impression that samuel1984 gives of our children's content. Content for children is on air from 4 to 6 on weekdays, I believe not an unreasonable proportion of our schedule given that the BBC broadcasts 2 complete children's channels. Those hours are split reasonably evenly between content for younger children (from Cbeebies) and content for older children (CBBC). I wouldn't expect adults to enjoy these programmes particularly - although some of those that we are developing work well as family viewing . But I believe that I would be wrong not to include an offering for children in our mix, and also that you may well be underestimating the value that children who have grown up with games consoles and high resolution online graphics place on television picture quality.
I know there is a great deal of frustration - summed up by tagmclaren - around where our HD offer is going. I would hope that you understand that I'm hardly going to share work in progress with a public forum. What I will say is that:
1. the BBC will not be making all its programmes in HD by next year - that isn't what the original commitment was, and in any case - in my opinion - the promise that all peak programmes from BBC One and BBC Two would be in HD wasn't necessarily the best way forward.
2. We will be making more and more of our programmes in HD, and broadcasting them in HD. Excluding sport, I'm expecting to make 300 more hours of original programmes available in HD this year alone.
3. I am well aware of the overwhelming demand for more hours of broadcast from the BBC in HD. There are issues to be resolved around extending channel hours beyond the current limits, but the message from you, and the rest of our audience has been heard.
4. I think that broadcasting the whole of the BBC's channel portfolio in HD is a very long way off - you know better than most what capacity would be required to do that, and how fast compression is coming into help. But that doesn't mean that I believe we will only broadcast a single compilation channel for evermore. We would not want to develop an HD offer which could not suit all the available HD platforms, and the capacity limits on Freeview are therefore a limiting factor at the moment.
5. We also have to balance our ambitions for HD with all the other things which audiences value from the BBC - including making original programmes in the first place. I'm not sure any of you would want a multitude of HD channels from the BBC with nothing worth watching on them.
Whilst frustrating, I hope this clarifies the position - trust me, you'll be among the first to know once I am in a position to share work currently underway
Danielle Nagler is Head of BBC HD, BBC Vision