BBC accused of aggressive tactics by independent producers

Josh Hall's picture
by Josh Hall

The BBC is trying to get out of paying millions in licensing fees to independent production companies.

This is according to Pact, the trade body for independent UK producers. It says the broadcaster is trying to bully producers into allowing their shows to be made available on the iPlayer for a full year, as opposed to the current 30 days, without extra payment.

As The Guardian reports, earlier this month Ofcom approved a major expansion of the iPlayer as part of the BBC's continued attempts to keep pace with Netflix and Amazon.

Part of this fightback sees the BBC attempting to retain exclusivity over catalogue for longer periods.

But independent producers maintain that longer exclusivity times make their shows less valuable to other services once that period has expired.

Ofcom has said that producers must be properly paid for extended exclusivity, but Pact say this is not happening.

The body's chief executive John McVay told the Guardian: “The BBC has consistently sought to strong-arm suppliers into giving the BBC these rights for no compensation and without a proper agreement.

“Pact has warned its members three times since April that the BBC has not yet reached an agreement with Pact for its ambitious plans.”

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