BBC challenge Netflix by demanding on-demand button on remotes

BBC entered into a confrontation with Netflix. It is requested the inclusion of a new ‘on-demand’ button on all television remotes in the UK.

Therefore in response to the competition, broadcasting powerhouse has demanded that manufacturers incorporate buttons for iPlayer, ITVX, and Channel 4 on TV controllers.

The BBC expressed concern in a letter to the House of Commons. BBC emphasized that public service broadcasting (PSB) is lagging behind. It is due to the absence of a direct pathway to this content.

The widespread presence of branded Netflix buttons on television remotes throughout the country has prompted this bold action. These buttons allow viewers to access the popular service with a single press, highlighting their significance as a gateway to TV content.

BBC challenge Netflix by demanding on-demand button on remotes

The BBC emphasized in their letter that remote controls and user interfaces play a crucial role. It is evident in the intense competition between major content providers vying for branded buttons. Therefore the lack of legislative support is causing public service broadcasters (PSBs) to lose ground against global platforms.

In addition to this the UK risks falling behind in safeguarding the ability of audiences to discover PSB content. Notably, manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and Sony sell remotes with a dedicated Netflix button, contributing to its widespread popularity.

However specific details are limited, the BBC asserts that its actions are not driven by protectionism or unjustifiable discrimination. It is a legitimate objective. The BBC proposes a requirement for a dedicated PSB button on remotes when similar buttons exist for non-PSB audio-visual services. In other cases, it suggests a direct route to PSB apps, such as a long press on a numbered button.

The letter critically examines the recently proposed Media Bill, which aims to update longstanding laws and empower public service broadcasters to compete effectively against platforms like Netflix and Disney+.

Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, explained that the Media Bill seeks to modernize existing laws, providing public service broadcasters with the necessary tools to adapt to evolving viewer habits. As more people opt for on-demand viewing via Smart TVs and connected devices, the bill aims to enable PSBs to capitalize on their growth potential and compete with global giants.

Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

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