×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Watchdog warns BSkyB on pay TV

Premium content may be forced to go to rivals

It hasn’t been a good week for Rupert Murdoch’s satcaster BSkyB.

A day after learning that British regulators are forcing it to sell down its stake in beleaguered commercial broadcaster ITV at a £650 million ($1.7 billion) loss because of anti-competition concerns, media watchdog Ofcom warned BSkyB it could be forced to make premium content, including Hollywood movies and live soccer, available to rival pay TV platforms.

Announcing the findings of its inquiry into the U.K. pay TV market, Ofcom said that BSkyB’s dominant position meant it had “an incentive to limit the distribution of this content to competitors, in a manner that favors its own satellite platform.”

But rather than referring the matter to the U.K. Competition Commission, Ofcom is launching a consultation to see whether the paybox should be forced to sell premium fare to rivals.

“This proposal should enable consumers to access this content regardless of their choice of pay TV platform, and provide consumers with an increased choice of service bundles,” said the regulator.

Ofcom also proposed allowing BSkyB to launch its much-delayed new pay service, Picnic, on U.K. digital terrestrial platform Freeview — provided the satcaster made the premium sports and film channels available on a wholesale basis to other retailers.

Ofcom’s inquiry was sparked after rival platforms Virgin Media, Setanta, Top Up TV and BT Vision accused BSkyB of running a “vicious circle” of control that crushes competition.

More TV

  • Guy Fieri Walk of Fame Honor

    Food Network Orders 'Tournament of Champions' With Guy Fieri as Host

    Food Network and celebrity chef Guy Fieri are teaming up again, this time on a culinary competition program. The five-episode “Tournament of Champions” will feature 16 chefs going head-to-head in a series of challenges using ingredients and special cooking tools and equipment  while racing against the clock. The difficulty of the challenges increases with each [...]

  • Daisy May Cooper Signs on for

    Daisy May Cooper Signs on for Baby Cow Comedy 'The Witchfinder' for BBC Two

    Daisy May Cooper, the star of hit BBC comedy “This Country,” is to play a suspected witch being escorted to trial in seventeenth century England in new BBC Two comedy series “The Witchfinder.” Cooper will star alongside actor and comedian Tim Key, who plays a failing witchfinder transporting her to a trial that could change [...]

  • Sky Original Anna

    Sky Sets Post-Apocalyptic Italian Original, 'Anna,' With Wildside Producing (EXCLUSIVE)

    Comcast-backed Sky is making a new Italian original titled “Anna,” centered on a 13-year-old Sicilian girl who must contend with a viral contagion that has killed off all adults on the island. The series, which has echoes of “The Walking Dead” and “Hunger Games,” is based on a book by the same title by author-turned-director [...]

  • The Good Cop

    ‘Fauda’ Producer Yes Studios Develops Comedy Series ‘Shared Spaces’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yes Studios, the Israeli production-distribution company behind such hits as “Fauda,” “Your Honor” and “On the Spectrum,” is developing “Shared Spaces,” a high-concept comedy series. “Shared Spaces” is currently in development with the writer-creator Erez Aviram on board. Aviram is the co-creator of the Israeli police comedy “The Good Cop” (pictured) which was adapted in [...]

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured:

    'American Horror Story' Recap: Who Survived to See the 'Red Dawn'?

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Red Dawn,” the fifth episode of “American Horror Story: 1984.” After five episodes, “American Horror Story: 1984” is moving onto another day within the story. The sun finally came up in “Red Dawn,” but not every would-be counselor at Camp Redwood survived to see it. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content