Blog Post

Pay-TV Ruling Leaves Sky Fuming, BT Disappointed, Viewers Somewhat Interested

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Just when it seemed like News Corp (NYSE: NWS) could ramp up its paid content odyssey this year, UK media regulator Ofcom has told its majority-owned BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) satcaster to cut the prices it charges rival TV platforms for its premium channels.

Ofcom’s long-running pay-TV inquiry concludes Sky “exploits its market power, so…

— (1) BSkyB must offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 to other platforms for £10.63 each, rather than the current £13.88 (or, when combined, for £17.14, rather than £19.15).

— (2) Sky and Arqiva are allowed to launch their proposed Picnic pay-TV service over Freeview – if Sky implements the above Sports obligation and offers Sky Movies to Freeview TV sellers.

— (3) Ofcom has the same concern over Sky’s first-run Hollywood rights for linear Sky Movies and VOD, but says it must refer the matter to a Competition Commission inquiry rather than rule itself.

But the conclusions have left an aftertaste of “nobody wins”

— Having effectively created the UK pay-TV market, Sky is hopping mad, planning to appeal in court: “Ofcom