Murdochs…humbling recipients of taxpayer cash

…..to Rupert Murdoch – plus another £12M for giving him its data.

Why is Jeremy Hunt on the verge of renewing this blatant crony capitalism?

The campaigning organisation Avaaz  has been active over the last few weeks….this time with good cause. They’re trying to stop British taxpayers having to cough up £100m to help Rupert Murdoch talk up his satellite audience.

That’s the amount that – each year – the BBC has to pay Newscorp for the privilege of having its Channels available on Murdoch’s satellite packages. It is the only such commercial relationship the Beeb has where no fee is charged….because in the upside down world of Rupert the Friend of all Governments, the Multinational DiggerYank insisted on this years ago as the price of his political support.

The BBC’s Channels are watched regularly by 41% of Sky subscribers….suggesting that they add enormous attraction value to the package. Yet we are paying him. Why? In the US, it is 100% the other way round: Murdoch has to pay $250million to the Cable channels for them to show his channels.

I think we probably know why, don’t we? Under an amendment to the Broadcasting Act (effected under Blair, well I never) Newscorp gets these fees annually.

But the arrangement is under review by our old friend, Murdoch admirer and all-round grinning Camerlot fixer Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. This week.

Here’s a link where you can follow the 60,000+ other souls who have already signed the petition politely telling Mr Rhyminge-Slang where to stick his brown-paper payment….back in the Treasury….or better still, the BBC.

The BBC is cash-strapped, Newscorp has disgraced itself in the UK at every level, and many BBC viewers deliberately opt not to watch Murdoch’s footie-sitcom-Jeff Randall drivel.

There’s three cast-iron reasons not to renew the deal, Jeremy dear. And let’s from now on charge the cop-bribing, phone-hacking, justice-perverting old bugger for the privilege of showing BBC television stations.

What Avaaz may not realise, however, is that Murdoch also extorts another 12 million quid from the Corporation for the right to give him its audience data. Odd but true.

There’s a ‘Platform Contribution Charge’  which seems to be set on viewership. For the BBC:

  • BBC News Channel £994,310
  • BBC1 £4,771,505
  • BBC2 £1,261,600
  • BBC3 £994,310
  • BBC4 £310,055
  • CBBC £342,130
  • Cbeebies £737,715


All up, the BBC is estimated to be paying Sky around £12m on top of the £100m fee for helping his own audience remain perhaps 41% higher than it might be.

On Planet Earth, it is the data recipient that has to pay for the numbers it uses. But not, apparently, in the wild, wacky toot-toot world of Camerlot.

Related: James Murdoch pushed out at Glaxo-Smith-Kline