Assessing the British Public Value Test: Benefits, limitations and challenges ahead

$18.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


This article provides a critical assessment of the practical implementation of the Public Value Test (PVT) in Britain, the first European country to introduce it in 2007. Britain therefore has substantial experience with this regulatory tool from which other countries could benefit. The intention of the PVT has been to allow the BBC to assume new media activities only if their public value outweighs their potential adverse market impact. The article argues that the BBC’s experience with the PVT points to practical problems not originally foreseen. These problems coupled with new challenges for the BBC call for a refinement of the process. Still, the evidence suggests that overall the PVT has worked well. It has allowed the expansion, though conditional, of the BBC into new media whilst the greater degree of economic and evidence-based regulation that the BBC is now subject to has made it a credible scrutiny process in the eyes of industry stakeholders. The article maintains that the PVT has served primarily to articulate industry concerns rather than the public interest. Indeed, the emphasis on outcomes and impact together with the piecemeal approach of the PVT present a threat to the PSB ethos. It is finally argued that the main advantage of the PVT has been enhanced regulatory certainty and the establishment of delineated spheres of activity for public and commercial media organizations.

Keywords: BBC; Public Value Test; market impact assessment; non-service; public service broadcasting; public value assessment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Westminster

Publication date: April 23, 2012

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more