Culture minister Ed Vaizey has said government action is required to stem an outflow of cash from BBC coffers to those of BskyB.
According to the Telegraph the satellite broadcaster rakes in millions of pounds in fees from public service broadcasters for carrying their services on its channels, a fee Vaizey believes ought be scrapped.
Currently the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five are all obligated to stump up a fee to satellite television firms to carry their channels, thought to be as much as £7m a year in BskyB’s case but face no similar requirement for cable television.
In a speech to be delivered later today Vaizey will say: “If the industry cannot find a way to stop imposing this cost on licence fee payers and public service broadcasters, we will look at our options for intervention.”
Some have called for the government to go much further however by requiring commercial operators to pay public service broadcasters to carry their content.