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BBC locks horns with BSkyB over distribution payments

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 1, 2012 | 2 min read

Recent criticisms emanating from the National Union of Journalists around annual payments made by the BBC to BSkyB for the latter to carry and transmit its services has prompted the commercial broadcaster to defend its operations.

A long running tussle between the two has seen the BBC indicate that it no longer wishes to pay the annual £10m cost, but Sky is adamant that its subscribers, who’ve already paid their license fee, shouldn’t have to cough up twice

In a blog post written in October last year Sky’s commercial director Robin Webster said: “Of course it’s understandable that tight budgets mean the BBC is seeking to save money where it can. But can it be fair that, of all the BBC’s suppliers, Sky should be singled out and asked to offer a free ride? We think not.

“We’ve invested well over £1 billion in our platform over more than a decade and it’s only right that each broadcaster should pay a fair and proportionate share of the costs if they want the benefits. We accept our fair share of these costs, which is why we ask other broadcasters to contribute less than 10% of total costs.”

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