- An alliance of commercial media companies plans to visit Stephen Byers, trade and industry secretary, to protest about the government's proposal to impose an extra television licence fee on digital TV viewers.
Members of the group - which includes ITV, British Sky Broadcasting, the cable companies and equipment manufacturers such as Pace Micro Technology - believe that the fee would prove unpopular and a deterrent to potential digital TV users. They also believe that there are detractors within the government against the levy.
The charge, which would average £19 a year over seven years, is designed to boost the BBC's income and allow the company to invest in the new digital technology.
Industry figures are suggesting that Smith backs a less controversial scheme to increase the existing £101 annual fee rather than introduce a new levy.