iPlayer deal saves BBC Sky platform costs

The amount paid by the BBC towards its carriage on the Sky DTH platform is to be reduced by up to 30% following its agreement to add iPlayer content to Sky Anytime+, Broadband TV News can reveal.

A new clause in BSkyB’s Published Price List reduces the amount paid by a public service broadcaster when one of its channels is contributing long form programming over broadband, on demand, to Sky DTH set-top boxes.

The BBC has been campaigning for a reduction in the £10 million (€11.4 million) paid for the distribution of its TV and radio content on Sky.

The move will reduce the amount paid by the corporation in Platform Contribution Charges for BBC One from £4,319,830 per annum to £3,171,460, while charges for the BBC News channel will fall from £646,260 to £491,970 when the new charges come into effect on July 1, 2012.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five would also be eligible for the scheme, though to date the BBC and ITV are the two public service broadcasters that have committed to make on demand content available over Sky Anytime+.

ITV currently pays £3,747,925 for its main channel ITV1, a figure that will now fall to £2,751,720 from July.

Additional cost savings will be made from 2014, when a reduction in charges will see the amount paid by BBC One fall to £2,090,280.

The BBC has also said it is considering withdrawing some regional variations from satellite.

Sky is in the process of opening up its five million Sky+ HD boxes to receive on demand content to all subscribers, regardless of the ISP selected by subscribers. It is anticipated the process will take place around Easter, though the BBC iPlayer is not expected to launch until later in the year.

Contribution charges, which include conditional access, and regionalization costs are calculated on a per subscriber basis.