Feeds

Europe takes aim at BBC licence fee

Calls for 'less and better targeted aid'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Commission has opened a period of consultation on its proposals to change the rules governing state aid handed to broadcasters.

Public broadcasters across Europe - including the beeb - get €22bn in government funding - in third place behind agriculture and transport.

The EC is keen to tweak the rules to allow national broadcasters to better cope with new media, to define their public service remit and improve national supervision of their activities. But opponents of the proposals say they would hamstring public service broadcasters exploiting new media technologies.

Neelie Kroes, Competition Commissioner, said she wanted "the broadcasting sector to meet the challenges of the new media environment, allowing a high quality and modern public service, while at the same time maintaining a fair level playing field between the different actors".

Individual states have "wide discretion" to define what exactly is public service broadcasting while still maintaining fair competition.

Draft proposals would also allow broadcasters to build up larger cash reserves so they can deal with fast changes in costs.

The European Broadcasting Union, made up of national broadcasters, is opposed to the draft proposals.

Jean Reveillon, director general of the EBU, said: "If this extremely detailed version of the Broadcasting Communication were adopted, it could seriously reduce the scope for Member States to grant public service broadcasters a significant role in the information society."

The EBU is concerned that forcing broadcasters to prove a "Public Value Test" for new services would hamper their ability to compete.

The EU strategy was unveiled as BBC plans for more local, online, video news services got a kicking from regional newspaper executives in Parliament. Carolyn McCall, boss of Guardian Media Group, and Sly Bailey, boss of Trinity Mirror, told the Commons Select Committee for culture, media and sport, they were concerned that BBC expansion plans would bite into income for local and regional titles.

The Commission is conducting a separate investigation into government money given to Channel4.

Anyone with a comment to make has until 15 January to get their letters in. Press release, and links to whole document, here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.