The BBC has had its proposals to integrate ITV and Channel 4 content with its popular iPlayer denied by its regulator, the BBC Trust. The corporation wanted to allow its commercial rivals access to the platform to avoid criticism from those who say it has a dominant position in the market.
However, the BBC Trust said that it was "not convinced there was enough potential value to licence fee payers" for the move. The trust said it was too "complex" to be allowed, because it would mix ad-supported content with the BBC's own ad-free shows.
BBC execs are reportedly frustrated by the judgement, and have blamed a lack of understanding of the proposals. "We've been working on this for nearly a year and we don't think the idea of a single website for British television was complex", said one unnamed BBC staffer.
However the BBC's commercial rivals believe that the objective wasn't to simplify things for consumers, but to avoid a cut in the license fee from what could be a potentially hostile incoming Conservative government.