Independent Television News is to complain to the BBC Trust over plans for the corporation to supply online news video content to newspaper groups for free.
The broadcast news supplier, which has a number of deals to supply content to national newspapers, has raised concerns that the BBC’s agreement to provide video content to titles owned by Telegraph Media Group, Independent News & Media, Guardian News & Media and Daily Mail & General Trust, could damage demand from publishers for content from independent commercial sources.
John Hardie, chief executive officer of ITN, said: ‘The BBC’s plans to offer free video content to newspaper websites risk undermining the demand for content from independent news providers, potentially undercutting a very important revenue stream.
‘The pressure on commercial news suppliers has never been greater which is why ITN has led the way in opening up valuable new lines of business, and the BBC’s latest move risks pulling the rug from under us.”
Press Gazette understands that in the coming days ITN will write to the BBC Trust listing its concerns about the deal.
Under the deal, which starts today, the BBC will supply a limited amount of footage in four key subject areas – UK politics, health, business and science and technology.
The newspaper sites have agreed that the BBC video will not be connected to any advertising. Instead it will carry BBC branding and access will be restricted to UK viewers.
The scheme is set to be extended to other UK-based news sites in the future but it will not extend to coverage of sport or entertainment.
The BBC said in a statement: “The BBC’s content is complementary to the sort of content and services provided by ITN and others. This is about the BBC sharing our online video news content in specific public service genres. We are simply allowing newspapers to embed BBC branded content we have already produced and published on BBC Online – we are not making bespoke content available or providing raw news footage or ‘white-labelled’ news content that newspapers can brand as their own or editorialise. Newspapers will not be able to commercialise the BBC news content.”