There are many pressure on the BBC now, what with the Kelly affair,
government review of its charter, talk of doing away with its license
fees, suggestions that it be forced not to run foreign-made programming
Seems that there is some emotional intensity between the beeb and
Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting, for instance. At the Edinburgh
International Television Festival, (where the BBC made its
announcement) it was suggested by a BSB exec. that the BBC be required
to sell its popular programs in the archive to its rivals who could
then generate revenue to put into "experimental programming," and that
the BBC should be marginalized as just a "broadcaster."
Not to be outdone, a high level BBC1 controller, at the same festival,
called Murdoch an "capital imperialist," (which one would think he
could hardly deny.)
Whatever the impetus, however, it is a progressive move, and, sadly,
one that probably won't find a parallel here in the states.
Moving Image Group