The UK’s most expensive TV deal fails 3D print
News24 has obtained a leaked letter from the UK’s biggest television company to the BBC in which it says the BBC should not be allowed to use a 3D printer to print its new £20,000 television deal.
The letter, dated March 30, states that the BBC has agreed to use 3D printers to print the new deal and is in breach of its terms of reference, which allow it to print and use 3d printers on a voluntary basis.
The BBC has confirmed that it is in discussions with 3D printing companies to produce a TV contract in 3D but declined to comment further on its plans.
The letter was obtained by TalkSport and published in the newspaper’s Sunday edition on Thursday.
The letter was sent by the BBC’s executive producer and head of TV, Paul Meecham, to the head of BBC Worldwide, Mark Thompson, after he was informed that a draft of the deal was being reviewed.
“I am writing to inform you that the draft deal we have agreed to print for the new BBC contract has been rejected by the Corporation, and therefore we are in breach, in terms of terms of the terms of licence,” the letter says.
It also warns that the new agreement would not meet the BBC Worldwide editorial standards and that the contract would “be detrimental to the programme”.
The BBC said that the decision to reject the contract had been taken at the behest of Thompson, who said he was “deeply concerned” about the terms.
On Thursday, BBC Worldwide said it had been asked by the corporation to look at the letter, which it said would be discussed with BBC executives.
However, Thompson told the Sunday Express newspaper that he was not concerned about the letter and that he had accepted the BBC had decided against the 3D-printing deal.
“This has been done by the company that I serve, and they have been given a clear message that they are not in the business of printing television contracts,” he said.
‘Trying to get away with it’The BBC declined to provide any details about the contract, saying that it was “trying to find out the facts and figures”.
“The BBC will always be careful to ensure our contracts are accurate and fair,” a BBC spokesman said.
“The corporation will always seek to reach agreement with the appropriate parties and the right people before making any decisions.”
BBC Worldwide did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The deal is the latest in a series of contracts with the BBC to print television, including the BBCs new BBC1 channel and BBC2 in 2019.
In 2016, the BBC agreed to pay for the printing of the TV licence for the first time, and in 2018, the corporation agreed to the first-ever use of 3D printed TV sets for the BBC.
BBC executives have been criticised for using 3D for years.
Last year, the organisation agreed to sell the TV license for the 2020-2021 season, with the aim of printing a total of 5 million 3D sets by 2023.
Earlier this month, a leaked BBC document revealed that the corporation had been in discussions to buy the 3-D-printed BBC5 satellite channel.