Feeds

Oftel reconsiders digital TV pricing

Should Sky should pay more than BBC?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Oftel announced today it is to review how digital TV companies pay for "conditional access services" i.e. things like encryption and user identification which allow subscribers to view certain programmes but others can't.

Currently there's a free market approach but Oftel is considering setting the prices of the services, and making it cheaper for "public service broadcasters" - meaning those on terrestrial TV from BBC1 to Channel 5 - and "commercial broadcasters" such as Sky and ITV Digital.

While the current system lets companies argue their own prices and terms & conditions, Oftel is worried that the situation is getting out of hand and that it is losing its ability to control the market at the same time.

This could result in small players being knocked out of the market and companies losing their incentive to produce "quality" programmes rather than mass-appeal programmes.

Hence Oftel suggests that it sets the prices and splits them into two, accounting for the fact that Sky etc. make a lot more money from their programmes and so should be charged more.

It is looking at two basic options: one, a company is charged on the number of channels in puts in a certain package sold to consumers; or two, the cost of the conditional access services varies according to how much the consumer is charged for the service.

Oftel is inviting comment- the deadline is 25 January next year.

Head boy of Oftel David Edmonds said: "Digital television has been a great success in the UK. Consumers can choose between three different networks and a huge number of channels, with 40 per cent of UK households subscribing to digital TV - a higher level than in Europe or the USA. The current regulatory regime gives companies the flexibility to negotiate terms and conditions..." etc etc.

BTW, while we have rarely covered digital TV on The Register, we figure it is becoming an increasingly important topic and so are considering getting to know the industry. Is this an example of great foresight or just a waste of time? Let us know - click here. ®

Related Link

Oftel's full report

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.