Thursday, November 26, 2015

Three IP stories

The BBC Trust decision on the Executive's plans to take BBC3 "off-air", to delivery by Internet Protocol, comes this lunchtime. Sadly, I am otherwise engaged - but the interesting element will be the number of "protestors" acknowledged by the Trust, who will still back the Executive. This could prove a formula for future decisions, likely to arise in the New Year, with big money to be saved in traditional transmission costs - and The News Channel, BBC4 and CBBC in the spotlight.

The BBC's new building in Cardiff could use IP technology to move programme material around. It should do, but the BBC engineers of a gun-metal background, of whom there are still too many, still prefer co-axial cable, and lots of it, preferably in huge raised floors. These cold war warriors also love bunkers, giant busbars, beards and blazers. Move on, Auntie.

IP also stands for Intellectual Property. In a sleepless night, I was wondering what sort of Intellectual Property an editor or presenter of a tv arts programme might claim ? Surely, there have been programmes profiling artists and art issues for years - from Monitor through Omnibus to Imagine ? The concept can't attract IP rights, can it ? Residual payments to a presenter might - but then Tim Davie, at BBC Worldwide, says he doesn't pay such rights unless he has to. So, maybe a cheaper presenter could be found - but then, that decision might normally be taken by the editor....

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