The BBC is calling for prominent access to online players such as the BBC iPlayer on any interface that provides access to television or similar programming in the United Kingdom. It suggests this should be enacted in legislation and backed by a fine of 5% of the turnover of companies that do not comply.
Television models launched by LG in the United Kingdom in April 2020 did not include any of the online video apps of public service broadcasters, although they did offer access to Apple TV, Disney+ and Netflix. The BBC iPlayer was added in August.
The call for prominence comes in the BBC response to a consultation on the future of public service broadcasting launched by the communications regulator Ofcom.
“In the BBC’s submission to Ofcom’s review, we are seeking changes that would continue the PSBs current system of strong engagement with audiences, building on the value we offer and promoting a thriving media market,” wrote Clare Sumner, the BBC director of policy.
“We are asking for Ofcom to support a universal, licence-fee funded BBC as essential to a thriving UK media ecology. Ensuring our programmes are available to everyone is fundamental.”
“In order to deliver that universality and choice for consumers public service media should be available on all major platforms and presented prominently so that it’s easy to find.”
Specifically, the BBC calls for legislation to ensure that the online players of public service broadcasters are available on all major user interfaces that allow users to find, select or access television or similar programming.
The BBC suggests a fine of 5% of turnover or £250,000, whichever is the higher, should be imposed a provider of a television user interface in the United Kingdom market that do not meet such requirements.
The BBC response to the Ofcom ‘Small Screen: Big Debate’ consultation on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting is published on the BBC web site.