[opendtv] BBC, ITV, C4 'want Sky out of Freeview'

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:53:00 -0400

Seems odd. Because if Sky starts down this path, makes one wonder why
others won't follow suit. Is it thata  new equilibrium is being
established in the UK Freeview model?



BBC, ITV, C4 'want Sky out of Freeview'

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are reportedly set to tell media regulator
Ofcom that BSkyB should no longer be a shareholder in the consortium
marketing the UK's free-to-view digital terrestrial platform, Freeview.

Last month Sky announced it planned to launch a pay-TV service on
digital terrestrial, removing Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Three
from Freeview, and using the capacity to broadcast four subscription
channels offering movies, entertainment and live Premiership football
using the more efficient MPEG-4 video compression standard.

An un-named shareholder told The Independent on Sunday: "If Sky doesn't
have any free channels on Freeview, then clearly it will have little in
common with other stakeholders in Freeview that support the principle
that UK consumers should have access to as wide a range of free-to-view
digital TV channels as possible."

Ofcom said last month that no request to change licences held by Sky and
National Grid Wireless, the transmission group which currently carries
Sky's three channels on Freeview, had been received. But discussions
between Ofcom and Sky had identified the need to consult on Sky's plans
to launch a new DTT set-top box using MPEG-4; the impact of the loss of
Sky's three channels on Freeview; and whether new licence conditions
were needed to ensure fair competition.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph said major Sky advertisers including
Cadbury's and Honda were threatening to leave Sky's basic channels
unless the dispute is solved with Virgin Media over carriage fees, and
the basic channels return to cable.

Lovelace Consulting 19.03.2007
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