Sky retransmission fees dropped

BBC TV homepage screengrab The BBC previously had to pay millions of pounds to transmit on Sky

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The BBC no longer has to pay Sky to transmit on the company's platforms.

Sky currently charges the corporation £4.5 million a year, but both organisations have reached an agreement where the payment has been dropped completely.

Previously the BBC never formally guaranteed Sky access to its services but the new deal "secures the long-term availability of BBC channels and BBC iPlayer on the Sky platform", according to a joint statement released by both broadcasters on Friday.

The agreement adds: "We will also continue to discuss opportunities that offer Sky customers new and innovative ways to discover and consume BBC content."

According to Broadcast magazine, ITV will also save £2m in Sky retransmission fees, which paves the way for Channel 4 and Channel 5 to reach similar arrangements.

Friday's agreement follows pressure by the government and PSBs on Sky to stop charging the fees.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said last year that the government would intervene if the industry could not find a solution, adding: "Public service broadcasters and licence fee payers have paid large amounts to satellite providers".

In 2012, the BBC had to pay £10m to Sky but this was reduced to £6m for the following year. It then fell to £4.5m for 2014.

The new agreement will be implemented immediately.

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