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The BBC and BSkyB have settled the long-running row over retransmission fees with the corporation no longer having to pay to put its channels on the pay-TV platform, saving £4.5 milliom (€5.3m) a year in licence money.
They have also agreed a new long-term carriage deal for BBC services and the iPlayer on Sky’s platform. At one point the BBC had threatened to start charging Sky for its content if it did not drop the annual fee, which also applied to the three other public service broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
ITV reached an agreement with Sky last month saving around £2 million a year as part of carriage negotiations for its pay-TV drama channel ITV Encore.
In a joint statement, the two broadcasters said: “Sky and the BBC have reached an agreement which reduces the BBC’s payments for platform services to zero. Alongside this, both parties have reached an agreement that secures the long-term availability of BBC channels and the BBC iPlayer on the Sky platform. We will also continue to discuss opportunities that offer viewers/Sky customers new and innovative ways to discover and consume BBC content.”
The issue was made a priority by the BBC’s director of strategy and digital, James Purnell, and BBC director general Tony Hall.