BBC 2W, the digital opt-out for viewers in Wales, is to be dropped as part of the BBC’s plans for efficiency savings following the licence fee settlement.
BBC director-general Mark Thompson told staff that there would be no new channels or networks. ITV has recently announced plans to retract from some of the newsroom expansion of the 1990s, which the BBC emulated with the openings of new regional newsrooms in Nottingham, Hull and Cambridge. Plans for the localised interactive news service over interactive TV and broadband, and trialled in the midlands earlier this year, have now been officially dropped.
Thompson confirmed the launch of Freesat and said the corporation would build on the DTT platform Freeview. “We’re going to go on building support for digital radio. And we’re going to grow the market for high-speed broadband in this country by driving usage of our on-demand services,” he said.
BBC 2W gave digital viewers in Wales more regional programming, but angered some who had to return to analogue to watch the regular schedule. The channel will close in 2009 in the run up to digital switchover.