On the eve of King Charles III’s coronation, a row broke out over access to television footage of the historic event in the United Kingdom.
Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV show and rival GB News have united to condemn the “anti-competitive” decision by the BBC, Sky and ITN to restrict access to coverage of the coronation.
In a statement regarding the “blackout,” the two news channels said they were charging “exorbitant commercial fees” to access aggregate footage of Saturday’s proceedings.
They added, in what they described as a “perverse” development, that foreign broadcasters are not expensive to access coverage in the UK.
“We are deeply concerned by the BBC’s conduct in restricting UK media companies’ access to aggregate footage of the King’s coronation, thereby denying UK citizens the opportunity to enjoy this event of great public interest and national importance on their platform of choice,” the news stations said.
The BBC (along with Sky and ITN) have repeatedly delayed and dodged this issue since Queen Elizabeth’s death in September last year in anti-competitive fashion. The BBC must urgently reconsider its position and allow all members of the British public who wish to witness the coronation the option of accessing their desired event.”
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.
The BBC has been contacted for comment.
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