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Sky: BBC “gaming the system” by failing to separate commercial, public service arms

Pay-TV operator has written to Ofcom stating the BBC could be in breach of its Royal Charter

Sky has reportedly written to Ofcom to urge it to take a tougher stance on the BBC and its commercial arm, BBC Studios.

According to the pay-TV operator, the BBC is “gaming the system” through “intragroup” deals, and is at risk of distorting the market.

Sky cited examples of executives sitting on the boards of both the BBC’s main board and that of BBC Studios, as an example of “cross contamination” and raised concerns about the “unfair competitive advantage” handed to BritBox, reports the Daily Telegraph.

It added that the lack of separation could lead to the BBC being in breach of its Royal Charter.

“The lack of separation between BBC Studios and the Public Service, combined with the lack of transparency around how these two entities interact, demonstrate the inadequacy of the current framework and Ofcom’s ability to hold the BBC to account,” said Sky. “As a result, the BBC has been able to game the system and enter into intragroup arrangements which risk distorting the market in breach of the BBC’s regulatory obligations, to the ultimate detriment of end consumers.”

A spokesperson for Ofcom told the paper it is reviewing the consultation responses and will publish its findings this year.