28 July 2009

BBC To Share Video News with Print Websites

The BBC has struck a landmark deal with four national newspaper groups to share video news on their websites, the Guardian reports.

The deal -- described as the latest step in the BBC's plans to share content, expertise and technology in the name of public service -- will make a limited range of free BBC video news content available on the websites of the Daily Mail, Guardian, Independent and Daily Telegraph. The BBC video will supplement the websites' own material in the areas of UK politics, business, health and science, and technology.

The BBC plans to make the same video news content available to other UK-based news websites in the future. The arrangement covers only news, not other genres such as entertainment or sports.

The video will carry BBC branding, and partner media organisations are not allowed to place advertising around the clips.

The video news sharing proposal marks a significant shift in relations between the BBC and rival media companies, GuardianMedia writer Mark Sweney points out. Newspaper publishers have long argued that the BBC has used licence fee revenue to fund its expansion into digital media, an arena where it competes with content providers that do not have access to a comparable public subsidy.

The industry won a battle last November to halt the BBC from launching a £68m network of local video news websites when the BBC Trust rejected the corporation's proposals.

The BBC recently has embarked on a series of partnerships with commerical media companies to fend off government proposals to top-slice the licence fee to help support other public service broadcasters, Sweney reports.

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