It has come to light via Deadline that on the eve of King Charles III’s Coronation, a conflict has erupted over access to UK television footage of the historic event. It has been noted that Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV and rival GB News have united to condemn an “anti-competitive” decision by the BBC, Sky, and ITN to restrict access to Coronation coverage.
In a statement on the “blackout,” the two news channels said they are being charged an “excessive commercial fee” to access pool footage of Saturday’s proceedings. In what they described as a “perverse” twist, they added that foreign broadcasters are not being charged to access the coverage in the UK.
“We are deeply concerned by the BBC’s behaviour in restricting UK media companies access to pool footage of the Coronation of the King, and therefore denying UK citizens the opportunity to enjoy this event of major public interest and national importance on the platform of their choice,” the news stations said.
“The BBC (together with Sky and ITN) has repeatedly delayed and prevaricated on this issue since the death of Queen Elizabeth in September last year in an anti-competitive manner. The BBC must urgently reconsider their position and allow all members of the British public who want to watch the Coronation the choice to access the event where they wish to do so.”
The statement was signed by local TV operators and the News Media Association, which represents the interests of publishers including The Times of London and The Guardian.
BBC has allegedly backed down
GB News has claimed that the BBC has backed down in a row over footage from King Charles III’s Coronation. Claiming a “huge victory,” the news channel is this morning broadcasting scenes from inside Westminster Abbey, suggesting it has been granted access to pool footage from the historic event by the BBC, Sky and ITN.
GB News Chief Executive Angelos Frangopoulos said:
“We take our responsibility to the British people seriously and are delighted that the full coverage of this historic event will be available to our audiences to watch live, both on TV and online.”
The BBC said:
“UK broadcasters are investing heavily in the coverage of this complex and historic event and we are pleased that the NMA, Talk TV, and GB News have all agreed to make a financial contribution.”