UK Broadcasters May Have to Pay for Broadband Streaming

17 December 2008

LONDON: In an effort to generate new revenue streams and offset the cost of transmitting the increasing amount of online video, UK broadband providers BT and Virgin Media are seeking to charge broadcasters for distributing content over the web.

As previously reported, BT is working with the BBC and ITV on developing Project Canvas, a broadband video-on-demand service that will be available via digital TV sets, and is likely to charge the two broadcasters for distributing their content. 

Virgin Media also foresees a levy on broadcasters for streaming high definition material over its new "super-fast" broadband system, with ceo Neil Berkett pronouncing: "It's time to start to think about alternative business models". 

Earlier this year, broadband provider Tiscali said the BBC's iPlayer has overloaded its network.

Kip Meek, chairman of government/industry forum the Broadband Stakeholder Group, has further argued that content providers gain from the development of faster broadband systems, but are exposed to "none of the risk".

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff