Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, has launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB is too powerful and threatens to "dwarf" the BBC and its competitors.
Delivering the annual MacTaggart lecture at the Mediaguardian Edinburgh television festival, Thompson rounded on Sky's chairman, James Murdoch, who used the same speech last year to attack the corporation.
"A year ago, James Murdoch fretted aloud about the lamentable dominance of the BBC," he said. "He was able to do that only by leaving Sky out of the equation."
Thompson said Sky was "well on its way to being the most dominant force in broadcast media in this country".
He said that News Corp, in effect controlled by the Murdoch family, now enjoys unprecedented industry power in the UK. News Corp owns 39% of Sky and is in the process of buying the part of the broadcaster it does not already own.
That money could be used to invest in original UK programming, plugging a £300m funding gap that Thompson said had emerged since 2006 as advertising revenue has plunged.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
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BBC director general Mark Thompson says Sky is becoming 'dominant force' in British TV – but isn't investing enough