No Escape: ALL TV Remotes Must Have Dedicated BBC Button, Broadcaster Demands

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: A General view of BBC Broadcasting House on April 28, 2023 in London, England. A report published today found that BBC Chairman Richard Sharp, who was appointed in February 2021, failed to disclose conflicts of interest while being interviewed for his role. (Photo by Neil …
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A button bringing users directly to the BBC must be put on all new television remotes, the state-funded broadcaster has said.

In a submission to the British government, the state-funded BBC has demanded that all TV remote controls containing dedicated buttons for the likes of Netflix should be required by law to have a similar button for the BBC.

Seemingly not satisfied with having the power to force all television viewers to pay for their service, regardless of whether they use it or not, the BBC is now expressing frustration at the growth of private entertainment alternatives, with those at the head of the organisation now demanding the government step in to change that.

According to a report by The Times, the UK government has already acquiesced to this demand, with a coming media bill to force smart television makers to include a dedicated section for all public broadcasters — including the BBC — at the top of their main menu within the operating system.

This forced placement is not enough for some at the broadcaster, however, with the BBC demanding that a dedicated button be added to remote controls for televisions sold in the UK where similar buttons are available for other privately owned streaming services.

“Remote controls are a major gateway to content on TV sets and user interfaces — their importance is demonstrated by fierce competition between the largest content providers for branded buttons,” the organisation said.

“Without a legislative backstop, PSBs [public service broadcasters] are losing out to global platforms,” it continued. “There should be a requirement for a dedicated PSB button on remote controls in instances where there are similar buttons for non-PSB services.”

So far, this demand has been resisted by the British government, which has said that adjustments to remote controls is “not in scope” of the coming bill.

“TV hardware, such as remote controls, is not in scope of our draft Media Bill, but we will bring in proportionate new rules to make sure public broadcasters,” the country’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

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