June 27, 2009

The OFCOM report - comments welcome

Sorry, but I'm just not going to have the time to plough through 340+ pages of the OFCOM report this weekend. I've read the first thirty and sections specifically mentioning HD (see earlier post) and find little to argue with - I think it's a fair and revealing document. Did you know Virgin makes a loss on the sale of movies and sports to customers? Did you know that the reason Filmflex can't offer subscription services is because they're tied into the deals done with Sky (who can't deliver VoD)? Good to see exclusive Sky red button content is also heavily criticised.
Anyway - I welcome any comments on the report from those with an interest. Please feel free to express your views. Or maybe you'll all be like me down at the seaside today ;o)


tvsersity said...

Call me a cynic (or a realist), but I doubt anything will come if this. Mudoch/Fox/Sky have way too much power and influence. They will fight this to the bitter end, drag it out for *years*, and the final result will no doubt barely effect them at all.

They rightly see HD as the major driving force for TV and have invested heavily in their HD platform with a huge advertising spend to match. To play devils advocate - why should they be forced to sell it to Virgin etc? Virgin have done absolutely nothing for HD and yet now all if a sudden they are realising it's importance and want Sky to hand it all over without a fuss? I would support them more if they at least had HD versions of all the channels Virgin owns, but they can't even be bothered to do that.

The way I see it, and j take no pleasure in saying this as I have absolutely no time for anything owned by that far right sleazy nut case Murdoch, -Virgin don't deserve Skys HD channels and I honestly don't believe they will *ever* add any HD channels. The cable TV platform will go the way of the dodo within 5 years or so anyway to make room for more broadband. Which is fine as we'll all be able to watch as much HD as we like through amy one of dozens of IPTV solutions that will enter the market.

lee said...

what an odd post...I say so, in lieu of the fact that I totally agree with tversity, as such.

I do belive that HD will come "soon" to VM, just not sure when

Their total lack of priority and focus on it, however, gives the post above so much credos and credibility.

There is, of course, and arguement that Sky have concentrated on HD (despite what they say, a SMALL percentage of overall customer base) and VM have concentrated on Broadband access(let's be fair - large concern of most customers)

Is HD poor on VM? totally absolutely definatly totally yes of course yes.

Is HD the be all and end all of the vast majority of consumer's wants and needs? I wouldnt' feel so, no.

That said, I do still agree with tvsersity! And I do agree with my own points too :p However, HD will "soon" become a TV standard, so I guess we could say, why bother? (just that the ofcom report, if ever enforced, would actually make HD standard).

Nialli said...

I do sympathise to some degree with Sky - as they've whined over the last few days, they make the investment, they should be able to reap the rewards.
To a point.
But over the last ten years the regulators have turned a blind eye to the flagrant abuse of commercial power that Sky's investment has given it. Sky prices its rights out of the reach of the competition or, as in VM's case, where they can only have the rights at a cost that makes them lose money with every sub they sell. What's more, they tie up some rights (eg subscription VoD movies) then do not use them as the Sky platform can't deliver it properly. So much for consumer choice.
OFCOM is now showing some balls. Good for them. Inevitably the reports findings will either be watered down or compromises will be drawn because Sky doesn't like an even playing field, but hopefully all parties can get something out of this. VM will get a better commercial deal and access to the HD it so desperately needs. BT will get the channels to make BT Vision a serious competitor. Tiscali and the other fledgling IPTV operations may get access to the content to deliver the promised next generation. And even Sky will get more revenues by selling the premium content to more platforms, albeit at a reduced rate.
Sky will whine and moan but its abuse of the monopoly it has built has been so flagrant and the attitude so arrogant that OFCOM's recommendations will be warmly welcomed by all but the most passionate Sky worshipper.
The only real question is why did it take OFCOM so long...