BBC excludes millions with syndication policy

BSkyB has blasted BBC attempts to distribute online content only over its iPlayer service, claiming the approach is unnecessarily restrictive.
The broadcaster claims a new BBC syndication policy isn’t in the public’s interest because its set-top boxes aren’t configured for iPlayer, meaning millions of subscribers are excluded by the new plans.
It says the BBC Trust – which governs the national media company – is knowingly excluding up to 3.5 million Sky customers in a perverse outcome to a consultation on the new policy that means rival broadcasters will gain access to bespoke versions of the iPlayer only “in exceptional circumstances.”
Sky stated the BBC Trust has mistakenly assumed its set-top boxes (STBs) can be easily upgraded to handle iPlayer content, adding that the proposals run contrary to YouView, a controversial project designed to combine terrestrial TV content with on-demand services via a single STB.
The broadcaster states the BBC should not adopt the proposed set up, “without substantial changes” covering how to make services widely available and “maximize public value,” through a hybrid syndication policy.