Desmond slams TV regulations

Oliver Smith
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NORTHERN & Shell founder Richard Desmond warned yesterday that public service broadcasters (PSBs) – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – are being over regulated in the current broadcasting marketplace.

“I am fine with regulation where it is fair and flexible, but if it limits growth... and ultimately fails the viewer, then in my view it is wrong,” Desmond said at the Royal Television Society Cambridge convention, in his first speech since buying Channel 5 three years ago.

Desmond criticised Ofcom rules that force PSBs to pay BSkyB millions in fees to run their channels on the satellite network, and called for a reversal of the system.

“PSBs should be able to charge pay-TV platforms for the benefits they get from offering the UK’s most popular TV channels.”