March 31, 2010

OFCOM pay TV report published and disappoints on HD

And they've backed off from the strong wording of the previous draft. Here's the relevant piece from the summary on Sky Sports HD:
We have not set a price for high-definition versions of Sky Sports 1 and 2. We have accepted Sky's argument that high-definition services are a relatively recent innovation, and that pricing flexibility will help promote future innovation. We instead require Sky to offer contractual terms for supply of these channels on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.
And it doesn't look like they've pushed Sky's HD movie channels our way:
We have decided it would not be appropriate to impose a similar obligation on Sky's movies channels. We have concerns over restricted distribution of movies channels, but our main forward looking concern relates to the sale of video-on-demand rights. We cannot adequately address this concern under section 316 (which relates primarily to linear channels). Instead we believe we should make a reference to the Competition Commission under the Enterprise Act 2002, and as required by statute, we are consulting on that proposed decision.
 It's literally been published in the last few minutes. I will write more later. Not the news Virgin customers were hoping for.

8 comments:

Square eyes said...

WHIMPS!!!

Erich said...

Leaving aside my personal desire to have Sky's HD channels, I'm pleased to see that Ofcom accepted the argument about investment and innovation, and this is actually a somewhat reasonable ruling.

As for the price cut on premium sports, that seems indicative of the exact opposite view. It will be interesting to see what comes of Sky's appeal.

El_MUERkO said...

As a V+HD customer my main concern is getting the HD (and eventual 3D) channels off sky onto Virgin and it doesn't look like that has been addressed at all :/

Square eyes said...

I would agree with the investment side but as for the innovation, well apart from the development of 3D, what have Sky Developed.

They did not launch their + or HD first. The PVR was an American development first, then the HD box was first launched by Telewest 3 months prior to Sky and it was called TVDrive in March 2006. I will say though Telewest once it was launched did the most ridicules thing, they put it on a shelf to gather dust.

What Sky have done is develop a broadcasting platform in the UK, but from existing technology.

Yes Sky have invested huge amounts in HD, but again if they were to lower the costing, they may end up with greater returns.

Erich said...

They did not launch their + or HD first. The PVR was an American development first, then the HD box was first launched by Telewest 3 months prior to Sky and it was called TVDrive in March 2006.
It still counts as innovation in terms of advancing broadcasting and pay TV in the UK, and there's obviously more to launching an HD product like this than merely supplying people with boxes.

Square eyes said...

It must be, but I think I said that

"What Sky have done is develop a broadcasting platform in the UK, but from existing technology.

Yes Sky have invested huge amounts in HD, but again if they were to lower the costing, they may end up with greater returns"

or perhaps it's my age

John said...

So this does this mean that Sky sports HD channels will be available to VM customers or Not ?

Nialli said...

If OFCOM had enforced an actual wholesale price (as they have with the SD versions) almost certainly. But OFCOM didn't, and whether Virgin find Sky's price for the HD channels to be "fair and reasonable" will be the deciding factor.
I'd say that there's a 50/50 chance we'll get them. I think the HD Sky movies channels are even less likely.