Sky’s Freeview plans halted

Regulator launches consultation on new pay services

Brit regulator Ofcom announced plans Tuesday to scrutinize BSkyB’s launch of a pay service on digital terrestrial TV platform Freeview.

Facing new competition from cable combo Virgin Media and sports specialist Setanta, BSkyB had intended to replace its free channels on Freeview with pay offerings beginning in August.

In a statement BSkyB said: “Our plans will increase competition and bring a better choice of programming to the DTT platform. This service will be good news for customers who will have a new way to receive some of our best content.”

BSkyB added that neither Top Up TV nor Setanta had been subjected to a public hearing over their pay services on Freeview.

Ofcom’s move means the satcaster will be unable to launch a pay sports channel on Freeview in time for the start of the new English Premier League soccer season.

Setanta is to bow its own Premier League coverage on Freeview in August, charging auds around $22 a month.

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