BBC’s New CTO Faces Big Challenges

The BBC has arguably been the world’s leading broadcaster in developing digital media technology and content platforms. Its iPlayer has become a “must have” for UK households. Much of the work was done under the leadership of Erik Huggers, now “in between” after a go at getting Intel and subsequently Verizon into the broadband-delivered pay TV business.

The BBC has appointed Matthew Postgate as its new CTO. He had been controller of BBC research and development. His new duties include BBC’s technology strategy including digital media, broadcast engineering and internal IT. The BBC like the rest of the TV industry is accelerating its use of the Internet to deliver content 24/7 and a myriad and ever changing world of devices in addition to the old standby, the TV set. It faces the challenge of transitioning to UHD, which will take years for it and its viewers to do. The BBC also has a worldwide reach with “exports” of its content. The Internet will allow it to address the global market directly.


BBC Broadcasting House

Broadcasting House, London


As might be expected, the BBC’s content divisions — TV, radio and news — have tended to view technology as a cost rather than an opportunity — a cost to their budgets rather than an asset. The coming of the digital media world has changed that. Postgate’s challenge will be to convince the content divisions that his operations can partner with them and help them achieve their and the Corporation’s objectives in the global market.

Postgate joined the BBC in 2003 and has worked on digital media services and platforms. He was in charge of the first public value testing for iPlayer.

In a statement Postgate said, “It’s been a huge honour for me to lead a number of teams within BBC Future Media. They are the best in the business and leaders in their field –— just look at the BBC’s World Cup UHD trials — but opportunities like this are rare and I didn’t want it to pass me by.”

Huggers said, “I cannot think of a better person than Matthew Postgate for the CTO position. Matthew cares deeply about the Corporation and has a proven track record in delivering innovative and complex technology projects.”

His boss will be Anne Bulford, the managing director of finance and operations. She said the role of CTO is “crucial for the BBC” and praised Postgate for bringing “innovation, expertise and value” to the BBC.

The BBC is a TV and radio broadcaster, a news gathering organization, a content developer and buyer plus now an OTT service. In addition to being the world’s oldest national broadcasting organization, the BBC is also the world’s largest broadcaster by …


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