ITV clashes with its satellite and cable rivals over fee demands

Joseph Millis
ITV and its cable and satellite rivals clashed yesterday over the commer­cial public broadcaster’s demand that it should get fees from pay-TV platforms for airing its free channels.

The Commercial Broadcasters Association (Coba), representing Sky, Discovery, Disney and other big pay-TV firms, claimed ITV receives a net benefit of at least £87m a year, because it gets regulatory perks as Britain’s biggest public-service commercial broadcaster.

Coba said ITV’s prominent slot on channel three, and “privileged access” to the TV spectrum “significantly outweigh” the costs of its public-service duties. Coba added so-called retransmis­sion fees could give ITV a benefit of up to £221m and that could “risk harming the rest of the market”.

ITV said the benefit is only around £40m and it was “purely compensation” for its public-service duties such as regional news.

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