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BBC and partners to commit £100 million to YouView

YouView_logo2YouView’s shareholders, including the BBC, are set to sign a new agreement to secure the future of the UK connected TV service, according to press reports.

According to The Guardian newspaper, YouView’s shareholders have committed to continue to back the service and will provide over £100 million (US$165.3 million) between them to finance its development into the future.

The paper said that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva, BT and TalkTalk will all continue to back the service after the current shareholder agreement expires at the end of this month.

The news follows speculation that the BBC would downscale its commitment in the light of the role YouView has played in boosting BT and TalkTalk’s broadband business and its limited impact on unbundled free-to-air broadcast TV.

However, while the seven shareholders will each retain an equal 14.3% stake, the report suggests that the new agreement could see BT and TalkTalk take on a greater share of the burden in financing the service, without gaining a greater role in the decision-making process.

Last month the BBC Trust, the public broadcaster’s governing body, called on the BBC to “carefully review its investments” in YouView in view of the fact that almost all YouView sales had been delivered with a subsidy from BT or TalkTalk as part of a subscription offering.

“This may have implications for the BBC’s strategy of promoting ‘free’ access to its services, and is likely to form an element of a platform review by the BBC which is currently under way,” said the Trust.