Coronation:UK publishers condemn BBC for demanding a king’s ransom to share coronation broadcast
and live on Freeview channel 276
The News Media Association which represents national and local publishers and their websites has made clear its disgust at the BBC’s behaviour in restricting the transmission of the coronation to itself and a couple of other major broadcasters in the UK by imposing huge charges.
In a hard-hitting statement the NMA said on Friday, May 5 that the BBC was denying UK citizens the opportunity to enjoy this event of major public interest and national importance on the platform of their choice.
Publishers across the UK would have been proud to transmit the coronation live and to have done so without any advertising or commercial gain – but sadly that is not to be unless there is a last minute change of heart.
The NMA said: “Given the historic significance of the occasion, all efforts should have been made by the BBC to ensure that the footage - which is created using licence fee payer money - is distributed as widely as possible to allow UK citizens to witness this event, and the BBC has not fulfilled this obligation.
“The decision to charge UK media companies an excessive commercial fee (with no visibility of true costs) seems perverse when the BBC is allowing foreign publishers and broadcasters the same footage for free. These foreign broadcasters and publishers will be allowed to stream or broadcast footage in the UK despite restrictions on UK media.
“The BBC (together with Sky and ITN) has repeatedly delayed and prevaricated on this issue since the death of Queen Elizabeth in September last year in an anti-competitive manner. The BBC must urgently reconsider their position and allow all members of the British public who want to watch the Coronation the choice to access the event where they wish to do so.”
David Montgomery, the Executive Chairman of National World said: “Any idea that the BBC supports freedom of expression or freedom of the press is negated by the abuse of its monopoly. It is our readers and viewers who pay the licence fee to watch all live TV, not just the BBC.
“Now that publishers and other broadcasters have the ability to live stream a national occasion, also funded by the taxpayer, the BBC shows its true colours, squeezing out commercial competitors.”