×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.K. pay TV probe to eye Lovefilm, Netflix

Competition Commission widens investigation

LONDON — Blighty’s Competition Commission, which is investigating the U.K. pay TV market, is widening its scope to include the impact of VOD providers such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

The industry watchdog provisionally ruled in August that Hollywood studios’ movie contracts with satcaster BSkyB were anti-competitive, creating a barrier to entry for rivals including cabler Virgin Media and telco BT.

But on Wednesday the Competition Commission said it would assess “potentially relevant” developments, such as the arrival of Netflix (which launched in the U.K. and Ireland in January) and the status of Amazon-owned Lovefilm’s business, which has added movie streaming to its rental-by-post model.

BSkyB also plans to launch its own Internet service, which will include Sky Movies and will operate independently from its TV subscription.

“We are considering their implications, alongside other evidence received since the provisional findings, both with regard to our assessment of whether there is an adverse effect on competition and for any potential remedies,” the Competition Commission said in a report.

The news comes after Disney, Paramount, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Sony criticized the watchdog in January for failing to accurately measure the competition in the U.K., particularly from Lovefilm and Netflix, which are both vying for exclusive pay TV window rights from film distributors along with rival cablers.

The regulator, which said it would deliver its final report in July, has also published a working paper calling for submissions on how new services may have widened the competition in the market.

More TV

  • Mackenzie Davis Himesh Patel

    Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel to Star in 'Station Eleven' Series at HBO Max

    Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel have been cast in the lead roles of HBO Max’s upcoming “Station Eleven” series adaptation. The show is based on the book of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel. Described as a postapocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines, the series tells the stories of survivors of a devastating flu [...]

  • LIVING WITH YOURSELF

    How a Recurring Childhood Nightmare Inspired 'Living With Yourself'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Living With Yourself,” streaming now on Netflix. When writer and producer Timothy Greenberg was a child, he used to have a recurring nightmare. In it, he was sitting at his family’s kitchen table when the doorbell would ring and suddenly he would feel terrified, [...]

  • Meghan Duchess of Sussex during a

    Meghan Markle on Media Scrutiny During Pregnancy: 'Not Many People Have Asked if I'm OK'

    Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, opened up about being a newlywed and first-time mother amidst media scrutiny in an interview with “ITV News at Ten” anchor Tom Bradby. Markle, along with her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, were interviewed for the new documentary, “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.” Markle, who addressed the [...]

  • Bless The Harts

    'Bless the Harts' Renewed for Season 2 at Fox

    “Bless the Harts” has scored an early second season renewal at Fox. This marks the first Season 2 renewal for a freshman show this season. The series has aired three episodes to date, with the fourth set to air this Sunday. The animated comedy hails from creator Emily Spivey and is loosely based on her [...]

  • Donald TrumpCNN Republican Presidential Debate, Las

    Trump Letter Threatens to Sue CNN; Network Calls It 'Desperate PR Stunt'

    An attorney for President Donald Trump has sent a letter to CNN that threatens to sue the AT&T-owned cable-news network for violating the Lanham Act and making misrepresentations to the public and advertisers about its content, but the network says the missive isn’t worth discussing. “This is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and [...]

  • Helen Mirren attends the LA Premiere

    Why Helen Mirren Considers Catherine the Great to Be 'Superhuman'

    It’s no secret that Dame Helen Mirren has a knack for nailing regal roles. Following her Oscar-winning on-screen reign as Queen Elizabeth II back in 2006, the thespian brings yet another powerful ruler to life in HBO’s limited mini-series “Catherine the Great.” Just as she does on the small screen as Russian Empress Catherine II, [...]

  • Amy Schumer'I Feel Pretty' film premiere,

    Amy Schumer Documentary 'Expecting Amy' Ordered at HBO Max

    Amy Schumer’s journey through her pregnancy is coming to HBO Max. The streamer, set to launch in the spring of 2020, has ordered the documentary “Expecting Amy” (working title), which will provide a “unfiltered,” “behind-the-scenes” look at Schumer as she goes through a difficult pregnancy while touring and preparing for a stand-up special. ”Women are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content