The latest is the three-year pay-TV probe, which reaches an end - of sorts - next week, when the media watchdog, Ofcom, publishes its final conclusions and proposed remedies.Going to be an interesting week, even for those of us not getting all of the new HD channels on April 1st...
There have been thousands of pages of submissions to Ofcom in this enquiry, a fair number of them from the company directly threatened, British Sky Broadcasting (which was still lobbying Ofcom, with some 100 pages of detailed economic analysis, some five months after the consultation was formally closed).
And while we'll have to wait for the detail, there is no doubt (based on what Ofcom has already published) that Ofcom's recommendations will send British Sky Broadcasting into paroxysms of fury.
Ofcom believes that BSkyB has "market power" in the supply of channels containing live sport and first-run Hollywood movies to competitors such as Virgin and BT.
The regulator has already concluded - in its preliminary verdict published last summer - that the way BSkyB exploits this market power restricts the choice of "channels and platforms" available to consumers and may be a deterrent to the development of "new platforms".Or to put this in English, it believes that BSkyB has an unfair hold on the supply of movies and sport, that this gives it an unfair advantage in the battle to flog not just TV but broadband and telecoms too, and that rivals therefore must be allowed to re-sell BSkyB's sport and movies at a "reasonable" price (whatever that may be).
So BSkyB will be forced to sell rival broadcasters access to its films and sport - in normal and high definition format - at keener prices than it does today.
March 26, 2010
OFCOM report next week
Not sure of the exact day, but it'll all kick off next week apparently. Here's what Robert Peston of the BBC says about it: