Guardian Media Group (GMG) say “The BBC and BBC Worldwide are encroaching into online areas where
commercially funded players could provide the content required.” [Yahoo Pans Ofcom’s Search Plan, Says BBC.co.uk May Be Too Big – PaidContentUK]
The report also states, rather too vaguely for my liking, Yahoo! has “joined the growing ranks grumbling about the BBC’s scale.”
Really? Who the f***k are these grumblers?
The only sound of grumbling I hear (apart from that coming from gastro pubs in Farringdon) is from the British Internet Publisher’s Alliance (BIPA). This rather secretive organisation is bankrolled by large media companies, including Rupert Murdoch’s News International (no surprise) and, oddly, the ever-so liberal – Guardian newspaper.
So whenever you read a news story or opinion in a broadsheet newspaper regarding the BBC, it’s worth checking whether its publisher declares its membership of BIPA [Check its membership list NOW!]
Those that wish to curb the power of the BBC are in a minority in the UK. Unfortunately, they are a minority who happen to work in publishing, have massive public influence and tend be vocal sods.
The Guardian has the facility to spread the BIPA anti-BBC message to the great and the good using its well-read Monday media section.
It also now has a new platform – PaidContent – which GMG bought recently. Can the Guardian possibly resist the temptation to dominate the online news funding debate using its new baby as a tool?
BIPA would like to see a ‘level playing field in the online news environment’ – sounds okay, right? In reality, many would like to see funding withdrawn for key BBC services enjoyed by millions. At the extreme end, some even would like to see the large and very popular news site pulled completely.
Commercially, The Guardian would find it very, very, handy if license fee funding for BBC.co.uk was abolished or it service significantly scaled back – not just in the UK, but USA. BBC News is a massive player in the US online market, a market which The Guardian is hoping to also dominate.
The reality is that BBC.co.uk is a fantastic site and the on-demand, iPlayer, stuff is great. As it does with TV and radio, the BBC sets the standard in online journalism in the UK.
It is enjoyed and relied upon to give honest and accurate information by millions of people around the world, but this means nothing to those commercial rivals at BIPA who will do anything to attack the BBC.
I suspect that many Guardian readers enjoy the BBC site and see it for
what it is – a fantastic resource which is an absolute bargain in terms of what we pay for it per a month. They would be shocked to hear that their respected newspaper is privately lobbying against it.
Commercial rivals need to get real. Work out how to raise your game and compete. Quit complaining into your chardonnay and DO NOT INSIST ON FURTHER CRIPPLING REGULATION THAT WILL EVENTUALLY KILL THE BBC.
But competing in a poor economic climate is difficult and that’s why we can expect the grumbling from commercial rivals to get louder and more frequent in the pages of newspapers like The Guardian.