Posted by: euromediablog | July 28, 2009

BBC Videos on Commercial Websites

The media landscape in Great Britain is on the verge of an important paradigmatic change. Till now there existed an axiomatic rivalry between the public and commercial sectors of audiovisual communication. The digital convergence brought a new rivalry in the media sector: Publishing houses also entered into direct competition with BBC  for  the conquest of the  internet space. In the same spirit of fierce competition “Auntie” was often accused of misusing public funding for its “www-expansion”- these accusations resulted in the introduction of Public Value Tests for all new BBC digital services that had to analyse their “negative” impact on the media market: competition distortion was to be impeded, public value- proven. The PVTs turned gradually into a symbolic battlefield for public and commercial interests in the British media landscape: The highlight of the rivalry paradigm.

But times change- paradigms also…

The advertising crisis last year hit both commercial publishers and broadcasters in the Kingdom hard.  This  brought significant  political pressure on BBC, with leading Labour politicians constraining “Auntie” to share public funding with commercial broadcasters in need, by thus helping them to fullfil  broadcasting requirements like regional news supply and educational programmes (Digital Britain Report).At one point we were not talking about rivalry anymore- but solidarity and cooperation. A paradigm shift par excellence!

In this spirit appears today’s proposal to share BBC’s video content with commercially organised publishers. According to the new deal BBC video content will be soon available on the websites of Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Independent. Thus the publishers will be able to market their commercial websites by using publically funded video material. The  shared BBC videos will be covering topics of public concern like UK politics, economy, health and science and will be available only to Internet users in Britain (geoblocking)

Both commercial publishers and BBC seem to be pretty happy with the deal and more commercial news-websites are soon to join. The public broadcaster will be satisfied to transmit its content regardless of channel and internet publishers will be delighted to attract advertising money to their channels regardless of content.

It will be however interesting to see how much advertising the commercial broadcasters will be allowed to insert into or around publically funded “ad free” content.

Related Artlicles: Digital Britain Report Against Internet Piracy

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