Legal Action Against Sky

David Prosser: Sky’s future is not quite so bright – Business Comment, Business – The Independent
Sky may have to cut wholesale channel prices by 30% | Media |

BSkyB could be forced to slash the prices it charges other companies for its sports and movies channels by up to 30%, Ofcom said today, potentially allowing consumers to subscribe for less.

Ofcom set out a range of prices below what Sky currently charges the cable operator Virgin Media. The aim is to make channels such as Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and Sky Movies more widely available on pay-TV services such as Top Up TV, BT Vision and other broadband services.

But it’s hard not to have some sympathy for the broadcaster, as Ofcom tries to force it to sell more premium content. After all, Sky invented the UK pay TV market 20 years ago, took all the risk in turning it into a profitable concern and, having established it as just that, is now being told it must share the spoils with rivals.

Those rivals, led by BT, claim that Sky is more or less refusing to sell any of the content in which it invests so heavily – spending around £1.3bn a year on sport and film rights – so that viewers who want to see such stuff have no choice but to invest in a Sky subscription.

To summarise: Sky were given a monopoly by Margaret Thatcher, who ignore EU rules and allowed Sky to use non Simulcast Technology – eg By sky receiver, receive Sky. Imagine needing a different TV to receive BBC and Ch4? Anyway, that is not to mention the rules that are currently scuppering ITV about making and broadcasting programmes from this country, and from regions – SKy have pretty non stop US imports, which would actually contravene a lot of regulations.

1997, and Blair gives BSkyB and Rupert Murdoch a deal – possibly around a relaxing on the rules on Media Ownership, as well as more freedom to continue his subscription based monopoly.

2007, and MP’s have noticed that there are other broadcasters, and other means of broadcasting. Hmmm.


About Alan Hardcastle

Media Lecturer with an interest in Pedagogy and Politics.

Posted on June 27, 2009, in Media, meusanus and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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