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Government to stop Sky charging public service broadcasters for "retransmission"

Sky is to be forced to stop charging the public service broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, S4C and the BBC) for the pleasure of their customers having channels they have already paid for listed in the Sky Guide.

Sky is to be forced to stop charging the public service broadca
published on UK Free TV

Back on 29th August 2011 , UK Free TV reported about Paying Sky for free public service television channels.

A report today, Connectivity, Content and Consumers Britain's digital platform for growth [pdf] from the Department for Culture Media and Sport says that Sky's "retransmission fees" must stop.

Update: The BBC, ITV, STV, UTV, S4C, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all have contracts with the satellite owners, SES Astra to carry their channels on satellite.

The phrase "retransmission fees" is an allusion to the position in the USA, where cable and satellite gatekeepers pay the broadcasters for their content.

However, this dispute is over Sky charging the above programme creators and providers to have their programmes listed in the Sky Electronic Programme Guide. Sky does not in any sense transmit, or retransmit BBC, ITV, STV, UTV, S4C, Channel 4 and Channel 5 channels.



The public service broadcasters:

Channel 4 (see Channel 4 would like to turn Sky "retransmission fees" into programming);

the BBC (The BBC wants to stop paying Sky ten million pounds a year for EPG listing and BBC may charge Sky for content as retransmission fee row escalates - Media - theguardian.com )

ITV (see ITV backs retransmission fee review - News - Broadcast)

all believe Sky are abusing their satellite-gatekeeper position, which much political agreement.



The DCMS document says:

Access to Public Service programmes

PSB channels are brought to our living rooms by various TV platforms, such as Freeview, Sky, Virgin, and Freesat. Platforms benefit from having must-see content distributed across their services, while broadcasters benefit from having access to mass market audiences. But there is a growing debate around the payments that are made between broadcasters and platforms.

The Government wants to see zero net charges, where the fees for access to the main platforms and for PSB channels cancel each other out. This is not too far removed from the current market position, and recognises the benefits to platforms, the PSBs, and audiences from being able to access award winning, PSB content.

This mirrors the arrangement already in place for PSBs and cable platforms, where no charges are made - an arrangement that we want to see preserved. We are looking closely at how we can help achieve this without allowing other kinds of online services to exploit PSB content, with no benefit flowing to the PSB. We will launch a consultation on this in the autumn, before bringing forward legislative proposals if required.

For example, almost three quarters of viewing of TV channels is to free-to-air channels provided by the main public service broadcasters, the BBC, ITV plc, STV, UTV, S4C, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Sky has already cut the costs - Sky halves EPG charges for public service broadcasters and saves BBC local radio.

See also DCMS to abolish retransmission fees - News - Broadcast.



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Comments
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
D
David
sentiment_satisfiedGold

3:51 PM

So will it mean that the BBC etc. will get satellite broadcasting at no charge but pay for terrestrial broadcasting?

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David's 306 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:19 PM

David: No.

It means that the BBC will continue it's contract with SES Astra for the carriage of services on six of the satellite transponders.

The BBC provides Freesat and Sky with their EPG information.

Freesat charges a small admin fee (£2000) to get this tiny (in terms of capacity) information out to Freesat set-top boxes.

At the moment, Sky charges the BBC £12m a year for the listing of BBC programmes in Sky Guide.

Remember that British Sky Broadcasting does not own any satellite capacity. The capacity is owned by SES Astra, of Luxembourg.

Sky Subscriber Services Limited, wholly owned by British Sky Broadcasting plc operate the "Sky Guide". SSSL have - rather audaciously - claimed that it costs hundreds of millions of pounds to operate their EPG.

The same EPG for Freesat was set up for ten years with a couple of million quid...

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

5:10 PM

David: I have updated the article to make the position clear.

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
Les Nicol
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:14 PM

Briantist: This at last Puts this outrageous anomaly to bed! It's staggering that the majority of the Licence fee paying public having been in effect contributing - many unwittingly - to BSKYB' aka News International's enormous profits. Hopefully this will now allow the PSB's to put this money into their programming.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB
D
David
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:16 PM

Yes a lot better now, thanks.
I was worried it was going to cost lots more to provide terrestrial/Freeview thus in the future it would be phased out in favour of satellite.

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David's 306 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

6:33 PM

Les Nicol: I agree!

I hope that this will allow the BBC to continue with all of their regional versions on satellite (there was talk of dumping some regions in DQF).

Also, I hope (as per the I've got an HD TV ... why can't we have high definition channels in place of the | High definition | ukfree.tv - 11 years of independent, free digital TV advice page) that the BBC can split two HD BBC One digitally into SD regions for the duration of regional content.

ITV can put their £12 into providing local news - How do the new ITV local news regions compare with the BBC? | TV channels | ukfree.tv - 11 years of independent, free digital TV advice .

And Channel 5 can get itself onto Freeview and Freesat in HD.

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Briantist's 38,846 posts GB
Ian
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:39 PM
Hinckley

Will sky still have to list BBC ON 101 102 and ITV on 103

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Ian's 497 posts GB
Briantist
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

9:54 PM

Ian: yes. It's the law...

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Briantist's 38,846 posts US
Thursday, 1 August 2013
N
Nedbod
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:55 AM

£12 billion to have BBC listings on SKY. What a total waste of licence fee payers money. How long has this fee been paid by the BBC ? I would pull all their services off SKY & put them on FreeSat, Freeview & Virgin Media only. Is there no end to Murdoch's greed.

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Nedbod's 452 posts GB
N
Nedbod
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:58 AM

PS: is there any chance of ITV 2 3 & 4 HD services coming to FreeSat, especially as ITV has quite a stake in FreeSat ? Sport on ITV4 SD looks terrible compared to BBC ONE HD and ITV HD.

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Nedbod's 452 posts GB
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