BBC: Sky should cancel our carriage fees

The BBC says BSkyB should cancel the £10 million a year it charges the corporation for the retransmission of its stations on the DTH platform. There is currently a deal in place for the next five years.

Research carried out by consultants for the BBC shows the corporation pays about £10 million a year for the satellite broadcaster to “retransmit” a total of 49 radio and television channels, which it says would be enough to offset five years of cuts proposed at the radio stations and television channels.

John Tate, the corporation’s director of policy and strategy, said that while he felt that “Sky have taken a lot of risks and they’ve done an excellent job in putting money into UK original content” it was also the case “that in the context of a very tight licence fee settlement, payment from us to them of retransmission of what are to them highly valuable services is not appropriate.”

Tate argues that it could be seen as “deregulatory” if the government decided to remove the onus on the BBC to pay retransmission fees to Sky, cash which is paid to ensure that BBC viewers around the country receive the correct version of BBC1 for their region.

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