BBC launches PSB partnership proposals


The BBC has launched a series of new partnerships with other public service broadcasters that could deliver more than £120 million per year by 2014. This development includes the production, distribution and exploitation of content and offering the BBC’s highly successful iPlayer to other broadcasters and bringing it to the television set.

One partnership project to deliver on demand TV over broadband is already underway and involves the BBC and ITV together with telco BT. The initiative is open to other public service broadcasters, developers and ISPs.

Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, presented the plans and said the proposed partnership secured the future of public service broadcasting: "We are proposing that the BBC shares some of the benefits of its scale and security with the rest of the industry to strengthen it for the long term.Through partnerships I believe broadcasters can help secure the future of public service broadcasting in this country."

The partnership, if approved by the BBC Trust (which initiated the challenge in June 2008) and supported by the other partners, will ensure excellent financial benefits not only to the BBC but PSBs as well.

Other proposals include supporting regional news outside the corporation; sharing digital production technology; investing and sharing technology that will allow a common industry approach to producing, sharing and editing digital content; a co-operation between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 and sharing public service content across the Internet.

Five's director of strategy, Charles Constable, released a statement in support of the proposed partnerships: "Five welcomes the proposals the BBC have announced on PSB Partnerships. We believe the ideas they have outlined could make a significant difference to sustaining the Public Service Broadcasting system, in particular sharing the iPlayer and developing IPTV. We look forward to discussing them further with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4."