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News Update: Sky & BBC row escalates

Sky Row with BT

In the latest update of the Sky & BBC row where BBC are angry at Sky for the retransmission fees, The BBC are now threatening to charge the broadcaster for channels such as BBC1 unless Sky drop the retransmission fees. Sky currently charges the BBC, along with other public service broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, to carry its TV and radio channels on its pay-TV services. “The BBC pays £5m a year, with the four public service broadcasters footing a combined £10m bill. The issue has been made a priority by the corporation's recently appointed director of strategy and digital, James Purnell, and BBC director general Tony Hall. It follows a call by 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." A Sky spokesman said: "The BBC directly benefits from the billions of pounds we've invested in our TV platform and the technical services that support the 49 channels they run over the Sky platform. These payments are no different to paying for electricity, studio facilities or any other operational costs."

BBC threatens to Charge Sky for channels

Halved from £10m 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. Corporation insiders have now said if agreement cannot be reached, then it will look to start charging Sky for carrying BBC channels. the government would "look at options for intervention" if the broadcasters could not reach a deal by next year. The amount Sky charges public service broadcasters has come down – in the past it has been as much as £25m a year. Channel 4 agreed with the BBC that Sky does not recognise the value that the public service channels bring to the Sky platform. A Channel 4 spokesman said: "We do not believe that the current regulatory system appropriately recognises the benefits that public service channels bring to platform operators. "Were the system amended to appropriately account for these benefits, there is strong evidence to suggest that PSBs could receive positive carriage fees." Original article extract from www.guardian.co.uk or if you require any more information please do not hesitate to call Sky on 0844 887 4373

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