Currently the BBC provides BSkyB with channels at no cost. A new report says that the United Kingdom public broadcaster is considering altering that arrangement and charging it for retransmission fees for airing BBC channels, similar to how the U.S. broadcast networks operate with cable and satellite TV operators.
In fact, BSkyB CHARGES the BBC and other broadcasters such as ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 fo offering their channels. Last year, the BBC paid almost $8 million (£5 million) per year to BSkyB, which is believed to be the same amount the other broadcasters pay.
But people in the British TV industry and the political scene are calling on that process to stop. Ed Vaizey, the U.K. culture secretary, earlier this year said he wants BSkyB to give up the fees or potentially risk regulation. He is scheduled to meet with BSkyB executives this week about dropping the fees.
"This free ride needs to stop," said John Tate, BBC director of policy and strategy.
BSkyB says that the BBC gets value from having its channels on BSkyB, as it is more than 10 million TV homes.
“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,” said the BSkyB spokesman. “These payments are no different to paying for electricity, studio facilities or any other operational costs" and cover BSkyB's technical transmission costs, he added about the fees charged to the BBC.