Feeds

Sky ices Picnic, blames Ofcom

TV and broadband offer eaten by watchdog

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Sky today said it had put its planned terrestrial pay TV product "Picnic" on ice, blaming Ofcom's glacial decision-making.

The regulator has been examining the proposals for 18 months now, and "there is no end in sight", a Sky spokesman said, "no business can go on like that".

The firm still hopes to bring Picnic to market, but has stopped further development as "the team have done everything they possibly can to prepare for launch," the spokesman added. The move means parallel Sky broadband and telephone offers for consumers who don't want pay TV or can't get satellite will also gather dust.

Under the proposals, Sky would replace its three free-to-air Freeview channels (Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky 3) with premium Sky Movies and Sky Sports content, and Sky One. If Ofcom were to approve the broadcaster's desired switch to MPEG4 encoding, a fourth channel could be squeezed into the spectrum, granting a reprieve for Sky News.

The TV, broadband and phone packages would be offered in any combination.

Sky first pitched the idea to regulators in February 2007. Rivals Top-up TV and Setanta submitted objections and nothing has been heard of since March, when Ofcom told analysts it it would publish a response in Spring. The document never surfaced.

An Ofcom spokeswoman today said the appropriate people to comment on Sky's cage-rattling were in a meeting all morning. Prior to the publication of this story a second Ofcom press officer rang El Reg demanding to know why we hadn't called to ask the regulator's response. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.