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Sky resists government push for it to cough up public service broadcast fees

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By John Glenday, Reporter

January 24, 2013 | 2 min read

Commercial broadcaster Sky has moved to resist efforts by the government to stem its charging of as much as £10m per year to public service broadcasters to carry their channels.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has said be believes such moves are unfair, implying that he will move to legislate against them if Sky fail to act of their own accord.

Signalling a battle ahead however a Sky spokesperson moved swiftly to rebut this request saying: “Public service broadcasters benefit from the billions of pounds we’ve invested in our TV platform, and the technical services we provide them. Thanks to Sky’s investment, they reach 40 per cent of their audiences via our platform and use our technology to customise channels and services for the benefit of their viewers.

“The payments they make are no different to paying for electricity, studio facilities or any other operational costs. We simply aim to recover our costs on a fair and proportionate basis.”

Despite sharp falls in such payments over recent years payments to Sky continued to rank in the millions with the BBC stumping up £6m, ITV £2.1m, Channel 4 £1m and Channel 5 £0.5m.

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