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BBC blocks licence fee payers from accessing BBC websites

by | 7th, May 2013

BBC future

APOLOGIES if a bit slow to pick this up, but WTF? In attempting to read the story on researchers who ‘printed’ a 3D kidney, I got this message:

BBC Future (international version)

We’re sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.

It’s the BBC. It’s all funded by the bloody licence fee. The BBC have taken our money under pain of law and used it to invest in a business the investors – us|! – are barred from seeing it. That’s just wrong.

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which operates in the UK and over 200 countries around the world. The company is self-funded and exists to exploit the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights.

No. It can’t be. It trades off the company we created. It even uses its name to get kudos and trust. It’s called BBC WORLDWIDE LIMITED.

We acquire the commercial rights to great programmes such as Doctor Who, Top Gear and Dancing with the Stars and find ways of earning money from these rights across different media and markets.

Those negotiations to acquire the rights to BBC shows must be bloody brutal, eh.

In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £155 million on headline sales of £1085 million and returned £216 million to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website.

Good-oh. But why can’t we Brits see the stuff you sell?

In April 2009, the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising the company’s substantial growth in earnings over the previous three years.

What a cosy arrangement.

BBC Worldwide operates under the BBC Charter and Agreement, which sets out the following four commercial criteria with which our activities must comply. BBC Worldwide must:

Fit with the BBC’s Public Purposes set out in the Charter
Be commercially efficient
Not jeopardise the good reputation of the BBC or the value of the BBC brands
Comply with the BBC’s Fair Trading Guidelines and avoid distorting the market.

How can the BBC not distort the market? If you’re British and own a telly you have to give the sods money…



Posted: 7th, May 2013 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink