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14 October 2011

Oi Sky; Cut TX Fees - or the Puppy Gets It

I see a head of steam is building around the argument that BSkyB should drop or reduce retransmission fees paid by the Beeb for the carriage of BBC TV and radio services on the Sky satellite; particularly the function for viewers in different regions of the UK to see the correct regional programmes for their postcode.

It's suggested that savings made by reducing these carriage charges could be used to 'offset' the cuts, particularly those in Local Radio.

The idea is presented by its supporters as a gesture the monopoly satellite broadcaster could make as some kind of reciprocal gesture for the funding cuts suffered by the state-funded broadcaster.

Thing is; BSkyB won't see it like that. Why should they?

They're running a business with massive infrastructure costs and they're compelled by law and historical accident to carry state-funded content on their platform, and give that content prime slots on the electronic programme guide.

I want to see BBC Local Radio survive and thrive.

But trying to exert emotional blackmail on a commercial competitor, somehow trying to suggest it's Sky's fault if the Local Radio cuts go ahead, isn't the way to do it.

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