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News International see themselves as above the law

We have the editors and controllers of media groups who will ignore requests to attend hearings. Said executives have been accused of flouting laws by illegally gaining information by accessing phone messages without consent. At what point did they become more important that the Law? Read the rest of this entry

Craig Murray – Weblog

As you know, the Murdoch Empire own a lot of the UK media – Sky, Sun, Times etc. They claim to have influenced the results of elections since the 80’s. They supported Tory in the early 90’s, and changed to Labour to get TB elected (interestingly, after a meeting between TB and RM, and before a large channel sell off).

Here is an interesting analysis of the Sky hosted Leadership Debate, by Craig Murray. Having listened rather than watched, I had heard the rule breaking, but hadn’t picked up on the subtleties of the direction. Seems someone at Sky has watched the Charlie Booker Screenwipe when he talks about Reality TV editing techniques…

But the directorial bias was what stayed with me. There was a telling moment when Cameron told a very weak "joke" indeed, and the Director instantly cut to three smartly dressed people in the audience who were improbably laughing uproariously. It happened again later, cut so quickly it must have been pre-arranged. When Brown was speaking, there was a lingering cut on a man yawning.Sky had chosen the questions, and here the bias could not have been more open. The first question was a Europhobic one, designed to launch the debate on what they believe to be the Tories' strongest ground. The phrasing of the second was remarkable – from memory "As leader, would you be prepared to take the tough decisions required to keep this country safe, by joining in multilateral military action to root out terrorism." It was pure Fox News stuff.[BREAKING NEWS – I have had Sky News on for half an hour. First they had a paper review with one Labour journalist and one Tory Sun journalist. No Liberal. Then they had Tory frontbencher William Hague and Labour frontbencher Douglas Alexander on to discuss the debate. No Liberal. Apparently dead to irony, the Sky newscaster asked them "In the interests of politicial balance, would you two like to comment on Nick Clegg's perfomance". Absolutely beyond parody.]Back to the debate.The other directorial trick Sky used was in cutting from speakers. The appeal of Nick Clegg talking direct to camera having been much discussed last week, the Sky director chopped him up, cutting rapidly around whenever he was talking. It was most evident in the closing statements, which Cameron did straight to camera. While Clegg was doing his closing statement we saw at different times the audience, his back and a Sky News caption. Cameron was given more "sincere face time" from the director throughout.The most stunning moment of Sky bias was when Adam Boulton dredged up from his position as moderator the Daily Telegraph smear against Nick Clegg.

via Craig Murray – Weblog.

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.

Sky challenging sale if ITV Shares

BSkyB granted permission to challenge sale of ITV stake | Media |

BSkyB granted permission to challenge sale of ITV stake

* Richard Wray,, Friday 20 March 2009 15.54 GMT

BSkyB has been granted permission to mount a direct legal challenge against the regulator’s demand that it sell most of its controversial 17.9% shareholding in ITV.

The court of appeal ruling means Sky will be able to cling on to its stake for several more months, further delaying what looked like becoming a desperate firesale of ITV shares.

Sky bought its ITV shares at 135p each, but today they are trading at a mere 21p. As a result of the share price drop the satellite broadcaster has already been forced to write down its investment in ITV by almost £700m.

Sky Vs Virgin – Ads banned

Sky anti-Virgin ‘ads’ slammed by Ofcom | – independent digital television and switchover advice, since 2002

Another reason to not watch sky…


From Wikipedia:

“In 1999, The Economist reported that Newscorp Investments had made
£1.4 billion ($2.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but
had paid no net corporation tax. It further reported, after an
examination of what was available of the accounts, that Newscorp would
normally have expected to pay a corporate tax of approximately $350
million. The article explained that the corporation’s complex
structure, international scope and use of offshore havens allowed News
Corporation to avoid taxation.”

If you have ever watched Fox news, you can imagine what they are saying about the American Tax Reform ideas that are part of the current election: Get ready fro the same thing from Sky, The Sun and The Times.

Virgin has a go at Sky over those shares

It was funny enough that Sky are potentially losing £250 million overthis, but just imagine if Virgin win…

Virgin challenges Sky-ITV stake ruling – claiming all shares should be sold | Media |

Adjudication in Sky's ITV shares case

Sky have been ordered to reduce their control over ITV, as they could hold undue sway over the content on ITV.

Since the shares have dropped in price since Sky Bought them to block a proposed takeover by Virgin Media, they have effectivly lost £170m.

All that, and the worst series of Lost. Wonder if Branson is having a quick bottle of champaign tonight.

Sky told to reduce its 18 per cent stake in ITV to 7.5 per cent – Business News, Business –

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Channel 4 is fined £1.5m by Ofcom

Channel Four has been fined £1.5m by media watchdog Ofcom for misconduct involving phone-in competitions on Richard and Judy and Deal or No Deal.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Channel 4 is fined £1.5m by Ofcom

In the past, Ofcom was seen as having no teeth: this change in 2003 with the merging of the old regulatory bodies into the single umbrella communications office. This current round of fines after the 2007 scandals (by this, I mean the phone ins not the misrepresentation of Death on ITV) proves that Ofcom is a force to be reckoned with.

However, at a time when TV is dying, advertising funding is drying up and people are turning to alternative methods of entertainment, is it too little too late?

Plus, they have no control over internet broadcast material…

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BSkyB 'should sell shares in ITV'

The Competition Commission has recommended that BSkyB should be forced to sell some of its 17.9% stake in rival broadcaster ITV.

sky, virgBBC NEWS | Business | BSkyB ‘should sell shares in ITV’

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