Ownership Models

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Aisling Sweeney

Ownership Models -

There are two different types of ownership models:

  • Commercial/Public broadcasting: The main difference between BBC and Sky is that BBC is a public service broadcaster that is funded by the government; Commercial broadcasting is primarily based on the practice of airing radio advertisements and television advertisements for profit. This is in contrast to public broadcasting, which receives government subsidies and eschews most (or all) paid advertising. While Sky is a private company also known as‘digital subscription Television Company’. Non-commercial educational (NCE) television and radio exists in the form of community radio; however, premium cable services such as HBO and Showtime generally operate solely on subscriber fees and do not sell advertising.

  • History of Company (BBC V’s ITN / SKY/ Independents):

    • BBC: No other broadcaster in the world has had such a diverse, exciting and long history. The BBC celebrates its centenary in 2022, and this timeline maps out the Corporations life decade by decade. By mid 1923 discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.

    • Sky: The present service can trace its heritage back to 1990, when BSkyB's predecessors Sky Television plc. And British Satellite Broadcasting encrypted their respective film channels – Sky Movies and The Movie Channel, which required viewers to get decoding equipment and a subscription to watch the channels. After the two companies merged, subscribers could get access to both channels, and later the sports channel Sky Sports also became encrypted. They have around 10 millions subscribers and more

Key Players: BBC Director Generals Past & Present – The Director-General is the chief Executive Officer and the Editor-in-Chief of the BBC. He is the editorial, operational and creative leader of the organisation, with responsibility for the Corporation’s global workforce and all of the BBC's services across television, radio and online. Gregory "Greg" Dyke is a British media executive, journalist and broadcaster and is currently chairman of The Football Association. Since the 1960s, Dyke has had a long career in the United Kingdom in print and then broadcast journalism. Mark John Thompson is a British media executive and current CEO of the New York Times Company. A former chief executive of Channel 4, he is best known as Director-General of the BBC from 2004 to 2012. Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - was appointed Director-General of the BBC on 22 November 2012. He is the 16th Director-General of the BBC. Prior to this, Tony was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House from April 2001 until April 2013.

Key Players: Sky Director Generals Past & Present – Rupert Murdoch: He is the founder, Chairman and CEO of global media holding company News Corporation, the world's second-largest media conglomerate, and its successors News Corp and 21st Century Fox after the conglomerate split on 28 June 2013. He formed BSkyB in 1990 and during the 1990s expanded into Asian networks and South American television. By 2000, Murdoch's News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries with a net worth of over $5 billion.

    • Richard Branson: Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English businessman and investor. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies.

  • Technologies of Production (Emerging Markets) - BBC: The BBC have the BBC iPlayer for anyone to use to catch up on different TV series/documentaries that they might have missed, this can be downloaded on to smart phones, tablets, gaming counsels that can connect to the television. BBC also have their own website to sell different merchandise to audiences ranging from Blu-Ray DVD’s to Normal standard DVD box sets of well known TV series such as Doctor who, And t-shirts from the popular show Top Gear, It also sells books too and children’s merchandise.

  • Sky: In Competition with the BBC, sky has Sky+ which is a box that allows their costumers to record their favourite shows that they may have missed or want to see again, it also lets you record while watching other programmes and pause and fast forward and play back options that makes skipping advertisements more easier for the viewer. They also have an online website selling merchandise from famous shows such as Game of Thrones. Sky has an app also that allows you to see what is coming and browse new upcoming shows on Sky.

  • Income Generation: BBC – BBC works alongside the government for there own income, everyone who wants the services of BBC and also who owns a Television has to pay the stranded TV license fee at £145.50 for Color TV (as from 1 April 2010). A black and white TV license is £49.But for people who want or don’t want BBC it’s an essential to pay the TV license fee everyone must pay it.

  • Sky: However Sky gets their income differently compared to BBC, as sky is a private company that you have to subscribe to their services there is a fee that goes alongside with it, the price of buying the box, the channels that you want that range from Entertainment, Movies, Kids, Sports etc. Sky has many different packages that have different price ranges but for the price of their standard set-up costs €60, and per month it is €29-€83 on their website, however this depends on what Sky box you have as there are many different boxes and packages.

  • Programming platforms and development of Channels / Flagship programmes: BBC- It is responsible for flagship programs like Today, Newsnight, Question Time and Panorama as well as the 6.30 regional television News programs, the BBC News website, the BBC News Channel, BBC Parliament, Radio 5Live and news on local and national radio, Also BBC has different channels such as BBC 2, BBC3 and BBC4. There well known shows such as Doctor who, Eastenders, Mrs. Brown’s Boys and many more are shown on these various channels.

Sky: Sky 1 listings include some very popular broadcasts—many imported from North America—including 24TouchThe X-FilesStargate (SG-1Atlantis and Universe), CapricaBattlestar GalacticaBonesLostFringePrison BreakHouseThe SimpsonsGleeLie to Me. Sky has various other program platforms such as Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Living, Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky Atlantic, Sky News and Sky Arts.

Regulations- Self – Regulation / Statutory regulation/ Ofcom- BBC: On the Ofcom website for BBC’s regulations it states clearly “Ofcom has certain powers to regulate the BBC's license fee funded television and radio services aimed at audiences in the UK, but not the World Service which is grant-in-aid funded.  Ofcom's Broadcasting Code applies in the following areas”:

  • Protection of under-18s

  • Harm and Offence

  • Avoidance of inciting crime or disorder

  • Responsible approach to religious content

  • Prohibition of use of images of very brief duration

  • Fairness

  • Privacy.

Sky: Also on the Ofcom website it states here for Sky’s regulation review "Sky has requested that we remove the Access Control (AC) Continuation Notice by which regulation of access to interactive services is imposed on Sky’s satellite platform. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure that Sky offers access to its set-top boxes (“STB”) on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, to enable third parties to provide interactive services to end-users, such as ‘red button’ services and voting and gaming services”. Ofcom can investigate any complaint from Sky’s subscribers towards the company. Sky has their own department for regulating any compliments from costumers compared to the BBC who works alongside the Ofcom.

  • Criticisms and Controversies: BBC – The BBC has had many controversies and criticisms over the number of years from 1926 General Strike to 1950 Independent television controversy, and had their fair share of criticisms during the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 when they were accused of being biased. One of the main controversy that the BBC had to deal with was the Russell Brand prank telephone call, The comedian was accompanied with the chat show host Jonathan Ross who called Andrew Sachs who didn’t answer the phone and the two left various messages on the answering machine comments about the relationship between Sachs’s granddaughter, Georgina Baillie. It led to critisim and the two presenters were criticised by many members of parliament. Jonathan Ross was suspended from the BBC while both the BBC and Ofcom launched their investigations. The BBC was fined £150,000 by Ofcom.

  • Sky: According to former ITV Director of Programmes and Pearson PLC Chief Executive, Greg Dyke, an investigation by the Independent Television Commission in the early 1990's, regarding BSkyB's control of its EPG (and threats to alter the BBC's listing if it ever broadcast unencrypted) discovered "something that would have been deeply embarrassing to BSkyB if it became public"- the EPG dispute was subsequently settled by BSkyB "before the ITC adjudication on our [BBC] dispute was published." Sky has also had integrations about their sports and films in the past years.

Audience feedback channels - Positive and Negative / Strengths & Weaknesses: From asking a mixture of people who had Sky and BBC by doing a voxpop with Caoimhe McLaughlin that can be seen on our Weebly websites, we had a mixture of different comments about how the BBC was biased during the Scottish independence referendum and how Sky puts on different add-ons to certain costumer accounts without them knowing. Both got mixed reviews about their strengths as one for the BBC was their nature/news documentaries that they are well known for, and Sky’s is the Sky+ or Sky on demand seems to be a popular hit with everyone, but the main one that stood out amongst both was Netflix, an online streaming website that is free of ads and pop-ups with the lowest price plan at €8.99 per month to watch various different shows from American that aren’t shown regular in Ireland, Netflix was the most popular of the three and some may say that Television is getting “played out” and “out of date” and online streaming sites with low price-plan subscriptions per month is the way of the future and Television is becoming a thing of the past.

Conclusion –

In my opinion, there are different factors about both Sky and the BBC, the BBC does offer you the classic shows that you won’t get anywhere else such as Eastenders, New and Nature documentaries, Doctor who etc. But sky subscription that offers you various channels arranging from entertainment to sports to movies that has a variety of shows to suit to everyone’s taste, For people interested in sports e.g. football, they can watch the latest matches that you won’t get on the BBC. However, you pay the license fee every year compared paying a certain figure for a subscription every month for sky that you may get secret add-ons without you knowing for shows that you may not watch. For myself personally, I watch the BBC very odd time if I want to watch certain programmes such as Great British bake-off that you won’t find on anywhere else and Eastenders, But I would use Netflix on a daily basis to watch my programmes that I can’t watch anywhere else arranging from American horror story to Rupaul’s drag race, Better call Saul and Pretty little liars. But I would use the BBC iPlayer sometimes if I miss an episode of whatever programme I’m watching at the time. I don’t have sky in my house, we have freesat but we do have the android box that has certain sky programmes on it but I wouldn’t use it that often because sometimes the quality isn’t good and the time of streaming the shows with the lack of internet is time-consuming. But in my personal opinion the BBC and sky are becoming out of date due to the high demand of Netflix and other online streaming sites that the younger generation are eager to have, the subscription of Netflix is about 8.99/9.99euro per month which is better than Sky’s price of 29euro per month and maybe more depending on what packages that you want, T.V is slightly becoming a thing of the past as are DVD’s because everything now is online now a days.


Greg Dyke - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Dyke

Mark Thompson - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Thompson_(media_executive)
History of BBC - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC
History of Sky - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_%28United_Kingdom%29
Sky+ - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky%2B
Rupert Murdoch - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch
Richard Branson - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Branson

Ofcom Regulation BBC - http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-accountability-ofcom/

Ofcom Regulation Sky - http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/sky-access-control/

Criticism and Controversy BBC- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_BBC

Criticism and Controversy Sky - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_BSkyB

BBC Merchandise - http://www.bbcshop.com

Sky Merchandise - http://www.sky.com/tv/show/game-of-thrones/gallery/game-of-thrones-merchandise

The Russell Brand prank call controversy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Russell_Brand_Show_prank_telephone_calls_row

List of BBC Channels - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stations_of_the_BBC

Sky Channels List - http://www.insidethex.co.uk/xmltv/lineups/List_of_channels_on_Sky.html

BBC License Fee-http://www.bbc.co.uk/corporate2/insidethebbc/whoweare/licencefee

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