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Information Policy & Compliance
Mr S Ramachandran
04 October 2017
Dear Mr Ramachandran Freedom of Information request – RFI20171354
Thank you for your request to the BBC on 08 September 2017 seeking the fol owing information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act): “ 1. Please provide the list of your international partners for BBC Tamil services.
2. What types of collaboration or MoU do you have with these international partners?
3. What is the revenue model? “
We have now processed your request and I can confirm that we hold the information you have
requested and some of it is disclosed below.
For your convenience, we have responded to your point in turn. In relation to point one of your
request, Tamil news bulletins
can be heard on Shakthi FM, part of Maharajah Broadcasting
Corporation in Sri Lanka. BBC Tamil content is also available in India on digital platforms on
Dailyhunt, Newspoint, Jio Xpress News, Oneindia.com, webdunia.com, samachar.com, NextG TV,
Yupp TV and thehindutamil.com. The Daily 10 minute TV bulletins are available in India on the
Thanthi TV news channel.
In relation to points two and three of your request, I can confirm that, in accordance with section
1(1) of the Act, the BBC does hold the information you requested. However we consider all of it
may be exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) (Commercial interests) of the Act as
disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including
the public authority holding it).
As section 43 is a qualified exemption, the BBC is required by section 2(2) of the Act to consider
the public interest factors both for and against disclosing information in relation to this case.
Specifically, we looked at whether in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in
maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Factors in favour of disclosing this information:
• that there is transparency in the accountability of the BBC for public funds;
• that the BBC is using public money effectively, and that the BBC is getting value for money
when purchasing goods and services;
• that the BBC’s commercial activities are conducted in an open and honest way; and
• that businesses can respond better to opportunities with the BBC.
Factors for withholding disclosure of this information:
• That companies, or individuals provide the BBC with commercially sensitive information,
so that the BBC is able to make robust decisions regarding its suppliers of goods and
services, including ensuring that the BBC obtains the best value for money from each
• That the BBC maintains a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis suppliers during contractual
negotiations in order to ensure that the licence fee is spent effectively;
• That the competitive position of companies in their particular market is not disadvantaged
by doing business with the BBC. It would not be in the public interest to disclose sensitive
information about a particular company if that information would be likely to be used by
competitors to gain a competitive advantage. ]
Having considered the factors for and against disclosure as outlined above, we have concluded that
some/al of the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure as it fal s under s.43 (2)
Commercial interest of the Act. We believe that disclosing all of the information you have
requested would or would be likely to:
• damage the BBC’s (and/or a third party’s) business reputation or the confidence that
customers, suppliers or investors may have in it;
• prejudice the negotiating position of the BBC (and/or a third party) in ongoing contractual
• weaken the BBC’s bargaining position with suppliers of goods and services (which may in
turn weaken a third party supplier’s bargaining position with other customers);
• have a detrimental impact on the commercial revenue of the BBC or a third party;
• weaken the BBC’s or a third party’s position in a competitive environment by revealing
market-sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to competitors;
• harm the ability of the BBC or a third party to obtain goods and services in the future.
Therefore disclosure of this information would or would be likely to prejudice the commercial
interest of the BBC and of various third parties by prejudicing any current or future negotiations
with potential partners to the BBC Tamil Services and that would not be in the public interest and
If you are not satisfied with this response, you have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior
manager or lawyer. Please contact us at the address above, explaining what you would like us to
review under the Act and include your reference number.
If you are not content with the internal review, you have the right to appeal to the Information
Commissioner’s Office. Their address is: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF. Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)
or you may wish to visit their website at https://ico.org.uk/.
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