Broadcaster poised to offer innovative content deal

AN innovative content-sharing deal is on the brink of being agreed between the BBC and regional British newspapers.

The BBC, for the first time, is negotiating to share its content, as well as offer journalist training facilities for regional and local UK newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat amid a painful British recession.

The British Newspaper Society says 57 local and regional newspapers have closed since 2006 because of structural challenges from Internet business models, as well as the economic downturn.

The content deal is said to include video content for the websites of local newspapers.

Newspapers would also be allowed to  provide the BBC’s own iPlayer video-viewing technology, giving the BBC a substantially enhanced distribution model for its software.

The Guardian website reports a similar content-sharing deal has already been struck with Independent Television (ITV) but the BBC deal goes several steps further.

The public broadcaster is also said to be prepared to share its audio content with community and local radio stations. 

A senior BBC source  told The Guardian: “In difficult times, the BBC is casting the partnership net wider than the broadcasting sector to also include other local and national news media.

“The industry needs to pull together to weather the financial storm,” he told The Guardian.

“While the BBC is also facing significant economic challenges, it can play a valuable role in underpinning public service broadcasting, and in helping to ensure wider choice and diversity, at a time when the industry is grappling with huge strategic challenges.”

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