The Trust is responsible for setting the overall strategy for the BBC’s commercial operations and for setting an approvals framework within which to assess commercial proposals from the BBC Executive.

The Executive is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the commercial strategy set by the Trust. All the BBC’s commercial activities must comply with the four commercial criteria set out in the BBC Agreement. They must:

  • fit with the BBC’s Public Purpose activities
  • exhibit commercial efficiency
  • not jeopardise the good reputation of the BBC or the value of the BBC brand;
  • comply with fair trading guidelines and in particular avoid distorting the market.

The BBC Trust is responsible for ensuring that the BBC Executive complies with these requirements. Where specific commercial proposals fall outside the approved strategy, are of a value of over £30 million, or are potentially novel or contentious, specific Trust approval is required.

The BBC’s biggest and most important commercial operation is BBC Worldwide.