BBC: ‘We should be charging Sky’

The BBC says it should start charging Sky for carrying its channels  if it doesn’t drop retransmisson fees. Sky charges the BBC, and other public service broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, to carry channels on its pay-TV platform. The BBC pays £5 million (€5.9m) a year, with the four others footing a combined £10 million bill.

The issue is a priority for the BBC’s new director of strategy and digital, James Purnell, the former Labour DCMS Secretary. It follows a call by current the culture minister, Ed Vaizey, for Sky to scrap the charges earlier this year.

The BBC’s director of policy and strategy, John Tate said: “Sky should do the decent thing and stop charging licence fee payers to carry BBC services that, in reality, underpin their ability to generate enormous profits. This free ride needs to stop.”

Halved from £10 million two years ago, the BBC is now calling for the retransmission fees to be dropped altogether. However, recent negotiations between executives from Sky and the BBC are believed to have come to nothing.

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