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    BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

    This is a discussion on BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC - Telegraph BSkyB faces renewed pressure to drop the millions of pounds it ...

    1. #1
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      BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC - Telegraph
      BSkyB faces renewed pressure to drop the millions of pounds it charges the BBC and other public service broadcasters to carry their channels over satellite.

      The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said BSkyB and other pay-TV platforms gained from access to the BBC and the other terrestrial channels.

      Under the current regime, the broadcasters have to pay to ensure satellite TV households can receive their channels, however. The charges were introduced at the dawn of the satellite industry, when weaker and smaller operators demanded regulatory support.

      The BBC and BSkyB have this year engaged in a public row over the charges, known as retransmission fees.

      Ms Miller said: “Our public service broadcasters should not have to pay other platforms and service providers to carry their content, especially given the clear value this content provides.”

      The Government is urging the industry to reach an agreement, with the threat of legislation, but no progress has been made. Ms Miller renewed the pressure last night in a speech to the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge.

      The BBC, which foots £5m of the BSkyB’s total £10m bill to public service broadcasters, has argued that it should instead receive payment from BSkyB for granting access to its channels. It was supported by Channel 4, which said there was “strong evidence” it should be paid.

      They will receive further backing today from Richard Desmond, the owner of Channel 5.

      He will tell the conference: “BT, Virgin and Sky operate in a way that was never conceived of by the current system of regulation.”

      “Public service broadcasters should be able to charge pay-TV platforms for the benefits they get from offering the UK’s most popular TV channels.

      Ms Miller said that “because public service content continues to attract the most viewers, it’s important that [public service broadcasters] are given the means and the mission to capitalise on the new online opportunities”. But the Government has indicated it wants an industry agreement that sees no money change hands in either direction.

      A BSkyB spokeswoman said: “Collectively, the public service broadcasters now pay less than £10 million a year in regulated platform charges and this figure is coming down all the time. We will continue discussions with the public service broadcasters about a range of issues relating to the distribution of their content on our platform, including these charges.”

      It is understood the discussions include negotiations with the BBC over including the iPlayer on-demand service in Sky Go, BSkyB’s smartphone app.


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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      If BSkyB pay the BBC maybe I shouldn't pay any BBC License Fee Tax if I only view via the Sky EPG portal?
      ToeKnee, Scubbie, gymno and 1 others like this.

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      It is interesting that the BBC appear to be paying around 50% of the total money. However when you look at the number of channels included you start to realise just what is at stake:

      Broadcaster Visible Channels Hidden channels Channels not available on Sky Radio
      BBC 30 2 1 16
      ITV 10 45
      Channel 4 18 5
      Channel 5 7 3

      I believe that this is correct, having checked some of the regional advertising areas. There may be some errors though with the number of ITV variations. I have tried to include all the BBC variations as they are visible on the planner (951-972). However in the ITV regions things are not always that clear. I know for where I live that Meridian has 3 variations, but that ITV1+1 and ITV HD only show the one variation.

      BBC Red Button I believe currently has 2 channels, with BBC Red HD not available on the Sky platform.

      Where HD variations are available, I have included this as extra channels. So BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD count as 2. I have included the FTA and FTV channels together, so ITV2 (FTA) and ITV2 HD (FTV) are both included.

      The 'Hidden' channels for ITV are basically the different regions. Many can be tuned in manually, but are not otherwise available on the planner.

      Ultimately though, who would it harm the most? Since the BBC are the main organisation who get money from the TV License fee, it would not be inconceivable for Sky to say 'bye bye' and any who have Sky, but no terrestrial or Freesat, to stop paying the TV License fee. This would cause the BBC the loss of millions. I don't believe that it would be quite 10 million people who would stop, but even 4 million stopping would mess up their income overnight.

      Personally I think that the time that the BBC started accepting paid advertising is way overdue.
      jayhab and ToeKnee like this.

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      Is this cost just for specific slots in the EPG?
      As for advertising on the BBC, I'm all for it - if they confine it to between the programs. Much as they do now, for their own stuff.
      Last edited by Cyberwiccan; 12-09-13 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Changed question

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      From reading the news story, I would imagine that it is solely for the privilege of being included in Sky's EPG listing.

      The same satellite feeds are used by Freesat so I would imagine a serious conflict issue would be raised otherwise. Remember that the Freesat system is jointly owned by both BBC and ITV.

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      One of the things which both annoys me and I can grudgingly accept as a good idea, is having fixed EPG slots. I can see how a commercial operation would want to charge to allow access to a premium position at either the very top, or the top of a cluster. Personally I think the BBC has an over-inflated sense of its own importance, if it wants a "premium" slot let it pay the going rate. If it's not happy with the price then don't pay it and accept a slot further down the list. It's patronising in the extreme to think that people wouldn't be able to "find" BBC content if it didn't have the "top" slots. It does enough self-promoting as it is, how difficult would it be to add EPG numbers to these adverts?

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      I also assume the cost is for inclusion in the Sky EPG. It can't be anything else as the BBC broadcasts via the Freesat EPG using identical transponders to those listed on the Sky EPG. I also understand the BBC/ITV make considerable charges themselves for inclusion on the Freesat EPG and many minor channels claim they can't afford the BBC/ITV owned Freesat levy.

      I suspect all this is simply political posturing by all concerned.

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      The BBC is used to getting fat income from the BBC Tax and paying nothing for the best broadcasting positions. You only have to see how their power worked initially on Freeview where they had the rights to the top slots for free and were automatically granted any free bandwidth that wasn't used. They still live in this 1930's mentality of the BBC as a wonderful national treasure. The BBC is good but with such a massive guaranteed income it should be. It might even be better if the top people didn't go round paying each other astronomical renumuration packages with all the add ons. It's just possible the salary of the top people is more than the EPG fee.
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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      if it wants a "premium" slot let it pay the going rate.
      I don't follow you, BBC 1 and 2 have the top slots in channel 101 and 102 with Sky and 001 and 002 with Freeview. They turned down the offer to make this their HD channel, so are further down the HD list. If they and the other terrestrial broadcasters had followed Sky's lead and swapped the SD and HD channels, they would be at the top of both the lists.

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      Re: BSkyB under pressure over charges to BBC

      I'm saying that Sky were required by the regulator at the time to make the top slots available for the BBC (and others) and that these slots obviously have a commercial value based on their position. My argument is that if the BBC doesn't like the fees it is charged to be included in the EPG then it should negotiate, which may mean being offered alternative slots.
      Noting that I have read the pdf on Sky's corporate site (Method for allocating listings in Sky's Epg) which does clearly explain how channels numbers are allocated, and there is no mention of slot position being tied to price. Also noting that there appear to be several companies claiming to be able to buy and sell EPG slots, whether or not these are genuine.
      Scubbie likes this.

     

     
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