BBC proposals could net 120m

The BBC is proposing a series of new partnerships that could bring in more than £120m a year by 2014 for the benefit of all public service broadcasters. It will include sharing the iPlayer with other broadcasters and bringing it to the television set.

One partnership is between the BBC, ITV and BT. They are working on a common industry approach to deliver on-demand and internet services to the TV.

Other proposals announced include helping support regional news beyond the BBC, BBC Worldwide working with other broadcasters to develop new revenue streams, and the BBC sharing technology and research and development to create a common digital production standard.

The partnerships, if approved by the BBC Trust and supported by the other partners, are forecast to generate over £120m a year by 2014 for the benefit of public service broadcasting beyond the BBC.

The proposals form part of the BBC’s final submission to media regulator Ofcom’s second PSB review.

In September, Ofcom published the proposal that the BBC could be asked to transfer its commercial arm to Channel 4 in a bid to plug the £235m gap in funding for public service broadcasting – a move the BBC is trying to avoid.

Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan says: “This is overdue recognition from the BBC that it should be using its privileged position to help support the broader public service ecology. However, with the exception of the suggested partnership with BBC Worldwide, we don’t believe these proposals offer any tangible financial benefit for Channel 4.

“Based on our experience of selling advertising around on-demand viewing, we’ve given the BBC clear feedback that their assumptions about the commercial benefits of a link with the iPlayer are inaccurate. We don’t share their view that this particular proposal could deliver an immediate and sizeable financial upside.”

An ITV spokesman adds: “ITV and the BBC have a good track record of collaboration on projects such as Kangaroo, Freeview and Freesat. We will be giving careful consideration to the approaches outlined today and look forward to receiving more detail on the proposals in due course.”

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