The BBC and other broadcast partners are set to drop their annual contribution to the YouView set top box venture by 85 per cent to around £750,000, (€883,000) leaving BT and TalkTalk to plug the funding gap.
ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC have been concerned that a platform originally created to give viewers free access to British-made programmes through on-demand has been hijacked by the telecoms companies as a pay-lite vehicle. Over the past four years, YouView has been funded and owned equally by its seven backers, which also include transmission company Arqiva. Each currently has a 14.3 per cent stake and this isn’t set to change/
YouView has already spent an estimated £140 million, and the deadline to agree future funding was set for the end of March. The shareholders have now agreed to a £100 million package, but the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and transmission company Arqiva are believed to be cutting their contribution from an average of £5 million a year to £750,000.