BSkyB boss warns of threat to TV

Piracy, aggregators, regulation pose risk

The head of U.K. paybox BSkyB has warned that a combination of piracy, new content aggregators and regulation risks “ripping the value out of content creation.”

Delivering a keynote speech at the Mip TV sales mart on Wednesday, BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch had a somber message for the international distributors and producers about the triple threat to content creation.

While praising new anti-piracy laws passed in Blighty last week as part of the Digital Economy bill, the BSkyB topper said illegal downloading was no longer a niche activity but “fast becoming normal practice.”

“That is dangerous,” said Darroch. “If we allow piracy to weaken the business case for content investment, it will ultimately hurt the interests of creators, distributors and consumers of content.”

He attacked content aggregators who are “happy to retail content at the lowest possible cost or even give it away to earn their profits elsewhere.

“If you strip the value out of content to take a fatter margin elsewhere, you risk undermining the long-term future of quality content altogether.”

Darroch saved his most withering comments for U.K. media regulator Ofcom, whose recent review of the pay TV market ordered the satcaster to slash the prices it charges rivals for its sports channels.

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