divorced from the reality of the current conditions of competition
I.e. We paid good money for this monopoly and its ours I tell you, ours!
Ofcom has launched an investigation today into whether consumers are being harmed by Sky's movie and sport rights-buying supremacy. There are "warning signs" that people's choice is being limited by the way the market operates, the communications watchdog said, though it has "not yet reached a view on the existence of …
Last I looked, the only thing people signed up to Sky for was the sport - they don't actually have much in the way of compelling offerings beyond that. Although I dislike the Murdoch empire intensely, I'm not sure removing the only thing keeping Sky afloat (exclusivity) is a sane option.
Mind you, there are plenty of people who *can't* get Sky, so it's anybody's guess what they're supposed to.
Somewhere there's a happy medium, but I'm not entirely sure where it is.
My worry with this is that we will get a similar ruling that saw Sky being prevented from buying up all Premiership rights. Setanta bought a sixth of the rights and charged £10 a month for what had previously cost £60 a season with Prem Plus. How this represents a better deal for the consumer is beyond me. Forced fragmentation of Sky's service will only end in people paying more for what they already have.
Personally I'm already fed up with having to now pay Sky and Setanta because of improved 'consumer choice'.
Only people who seem to be complaining about the Sky monopoly are the TV companies - not the football fans.
Ofcom, as usual, have no interest in the consumer and how much their meddling costs the consumer.
I'm not a sports fan at all, but I can imagine if I was, I'd be really pissed off! Basically, if you want to watch any sport (esp. the premium stuff like football and cricket), you have to shell out boat loads of cash to Sky!
There was an item on the radio a week or two back about the FA gunning for pubs that are ditching Sky and pointing their satellite dishes at freebie Greek TV stations where they can receive UK football matches! Apart from the stupidity of being able to see a UK game from a Greek station that you can't actually receive at home, the point was that the FA was saying this was illegal. I've thought for a long time that the FA is far more interested in making money (via Sky) than actually promoting the game of football. One pub landlord phoned in to say he had two pubs - Sky wanted £10,000 pa for the rights to show Sky in one pub and £13,000 pa for the other pub. The landlord said he didn't sign up for the second pub because he only has about half a dozen customers who actually might be interested in watching it. It's a stupid situation and where the only winners are Sky and the FA - the actual clubs (well, the ones further down the league) get sod-all out of this, and it can't be considered "good" for Jo public.
I subscribe to Sky basic pack and not sport.
I know others that want the sport and not the basic.
There should be more Ala Carte channel picking, not "bundled packages"
For those more than 5km from exchange or outside cable TV there is no choice of Satellite Pay provider unless you speak German etc.
a) Allow all the premium sports but 10 minutes later.
b) Or, alternatively, no exclusives can be given in final matches on any sport (so each division's winner is seen live by anyone who wants to get it, the womens' finals in wimbledon can always be seen live) and so on.
c) Or, as a last alternative, BBC Sport, a free/freeview channel is given full rights to show any match wanted (there are far more sports so some of them cannot be live, but will at least be available) for any match where there is an exclusive contract for viewing.
(a) means that you lose something but 10 minutes is enough to make it attractive to see the live version but you won't miss out much (such as hearing the results on the news) if you go elsewhere.
(b) means that the definitive matches cannot be held to ransom, though most matches can be exclusive
(c) means that there's no commercial incentive to pay for exclusivity.
To say competition isn't helping the consumer is correct... as the competition is now. That's because right now, there is no competition. The process is flawed. With each match only available on one platform exclusively, how is that competition? It is BOUND to drive up prices amongst the broadcasters, as they have no incentive to lower prices to the end user... Show each match on competing broadcasters, and leave it to them to decide a price to the end user... THAT'S competition.
Many people can't watch satellite TV, because they're not allowed to put a dish on their house or similar reasons (in some cities it seems almost any dish is against planning regulations, and many councils, housing associations, etc, ban them on their properties). While others can't get cable because there are no cables to their houses. Surely it would be fairer to separate the distribution platform from the channels so people could watch the channels they want by whatever means are available.
this must have been before they got the rights to show premier league matches.
to be honest, i agree that there should be more choice, although i'm very happy with the choices i have because they fulfill everything my family needs, the kids, the wife and me !
and yes, there are a myriad of other ways to see these matches for free (my personal favourite being net streaming) but you can't beat watching it on Sky Sports
If evidence was needed then just look at the Virgin spat, Virgin customers can subscribe to Sky Sports but not get Sky One anymore.
So why do Sky do? Start putting champions league games on Sky One so non-Sky Sky Sports subscribers can't see the games but Sky non-Sky Sports subscribers get them for "free"
There's not real competition because Sky just bid as much as they can to ensure they win then rights and then pass that cost onto their subscribers, normal competition would result in prices decreasing in real terms.
I'm sure Sky will argue that you get more channels and choice for your money but i really don't care whether i have 20 or 700 channels in my package, i only have 24hrs in a day so all i want is the channels showing what i am interested in.
As mage says, more A la Carte rather than an all you can eat buffet....
ssu also has a valid statrment in that forcing matches to be split between Sky & Setanta has resulted in more expense for viewers who choose to watch all games and therefore end up with 2 subscriptions.
Everything provided by Sky with the sole exception of the premium movies is ad-supported - you pay TWICE - once to watch the program, and once again by watching the ads.
When I left Sky years ago with that reson, the peons in their call centre didn't understand this and simply went silent... Charge me for the content, but not the ads as well...
How dare a company take a risk, spend a load of money but to be successful.
Clearly they should have just gone into bankruptcy protection then come out of it with a load of debt and gone sulking to regulators that the big bad company that did actually know arse from elbow has outdone them instead.
Virgin Media set up their own turgid shite channels, got on board with Setanta, etc, etc, but still see fit to sulk to regulators along with various other TV companies, none of whom want to make the investments.
Ofcom will, of course, most likely punish Sky, they don't care at all for the consumer just that 'competition' is preserved. A quick look at the broadband market in the UK tells volumes, BT not wanting to do fibre due to not having a decent regulatory framework with the threat of being forced to let all and sundry use it for not much and no-one else having the cash or will to, due to in the case of Virgin poor management.
Proper football's in the Football League. Standing out on the terraces, all weathers, watching a proper team getting muddy and working for normal money, not prancing around a manicured lawn in a covered stadium and getting paid £100k a week, and rolling around in agony if someone else breathes on them. The sooner Sky-watchers (excluding Patrick Moore of course) understand this concept, the better - and the little clubs might get a fairer slice of the money-spinning pie, whatever one of those tastes like.
Spot on - where as before I could get everything through one medium, now I have to subscribe to others.
Although I would like to see the Sky separated into separate arms - i.e. broadcasting and content (one sends the stuff, from any one, the other makes it and offers it to others) - therefore less conflict of interest.
Really though, I can see in a few years time nobody buying tv channels at all - they just pay for what they watch, when they watch it - for example, with football, I pay x amount a month for sky sports, and there are loads of football matches I don't have time to watch (and loads of other content on those channels) - I'd rather just pay for the 3 or 4 games a week I watch - much fairer system I think - but then the BBC tax, sorry fee, would never allow that.
in 2003 when there were two competing TV satellite systems in Italy, Stream (owned by guess who) and Telepiu (owned by Vivendi Universal) were rivals, strangely, there appeared Pirate smart card designs AND regular crack-code updates for 12 year market leader Telepiu, from some generous anonymous lab somewhere. cough.
insert bit from the FT
NDS, the News Corp affiliate that has become the world leader in "conditional access technology". Among them were former Israeli intelligence officers, CIA operatives, computer scientists, even commandos - all experts in the art of encryption and code-breaking.... *WTF* COMMANDOS???? anonymous coward status quick!
more from the FT
...allegation - first raised by Canal Plus Technologies of France - was that NDS employed hackers who broke their codes and posted them on the internet.
NDS..... rejects the allegations.
er.......soon however News Corps' Stream and TelePiu merged to form SKYItalia
why can't I have three black helicopter Icons??
Why is it that, when every living individual in the country knows that you can't watch certain sports without paying Murdoch, that you can only watch certain events by paying Murdoch again, and that for some things you have to pay Murdoch THREE TIMES, that SOME of those SAME individuals who work for so-called Watchdogs say totally dumb things like "there are indications that choice may be limited"??!!!
Absolutely idiotic understatement of issues is a classically British Civil Servant pastime, but it REALLY ticks me off.
I work for Sky and get it all free so none of this is really an issue for me and obviously I'm ever-so-slilghtly bias!
Howver, I do agree with the comments for Sky offering more choice in the bundled offering though and certainly think forcing broadcast companies to share the various package offerings like the premiership football will just cost everyone a lot more in the long run.
When one provider gets rights to certain matches and another provider gets right to another set of matches, how can you have competition for the benefit of customers when you can't get the exact same matches from different places?
Force all matches onto pay per view and allow any UK network to show them. Part of the revenue to the television station and the majority of it to the league. Naturally the network with the largest share of users will get the majority of the revenue, but they could all offer something different to try and get more viewers. VM/Sky could show HD versions of the matches for the same price, whilst Setanta would have the benefit of anyone being able to get it without satellite.
Something like this might promote more competition in the pay-TV market. VM/Sky wouldn't be able to get away with high monthly charges for their base packages if they want to be competitive for customers on their platforms.
I left Sky a while ago, opting for Freeview (the people at Sky didn't understand that Freeview is cheaper than Sky for some reason). As I remember it with sky you have to pay for: 1 the subscription to sky (at least basic), 2. the premiership subscription. And, as previously mentioned there's the adverts.
My personal favourite suggestion is watching it delayed - I am sure that people wouldn't mind watching it later on another channel.
Whilst i'm ranting - when did all this money-is-more-important-than-football start anyway?
Of course, for some of us Sky is the only way to actually GET any signal at all. The wonderful wonderful English Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and its crony, UK Government plc, refuse to provide all its subscribers (license fee payers) with the same service for the same money.
So, if the BBC and others should have "equal rights" to broadcast sports, Sky won't bother to bid for it any more, meaning I will lose access to something I can now at least pay for to get.
There's a simple solution: Ban exclusivity deals outright. That is to say: Just because one broadcaster has paid for the rights to show a particular sporting event, should not prevent anyone else from showing coverage of the same event.
When I can choose, unhindered by natural (e.g. availability of service) or artificial (e.g. exclusive licencing arrangements) limitations, between different broadcasters' coverage of the same event, *that* is free market competition.
Anything else is just a cartel.
One thing your forgetting mate is you get a lot more with setanta than you did with the prem plus only deal, more channels and more content so it does actually work out cheaper than it used to!!
I think its about time ofcom do something, they are known as being soft as crap and being toothless and 'not bothered' and us consumers are the ones who suffer because of it. I mean look at the whole Virgin vs SKY spat, SKY think they can charge what they want and abuse their position, Virgin standing up and saying well were not paying that feck ya channels...
... As SKY is a dominant pay tv provider their channels should be governed by the rate card the same as the Sky Sports & Movies, that way if companies want their channels they all pay a fair price, that way SKY cant abuse their position!
What OFCOM also need to do is sort out this stinking mess of ALL the companies being able to advertise UNLIMITED BROADBAND when its not unlimited at all, the have caps, fair usage policies, throttling etc - It should be advertised CLEARLY and not in the small print and this should be a legal requirement as customes are just BAFFLED by all the sneaky advertising.
Same as UNLIMITED phone calls to landlines, oh but they are not UNLIMITED its only free for UP TO AN HOUR, so therefore it should be called TALK 1HR, not TALK UNLIMITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the fact that SKy own all the rights to various sports is becouse of the way sports bodies choose to sell their rights.
Is it skys fault they have lots of money so can afford to pay more then anyone else at auction? Stop complaining about Sky they have money, they buy services so they can make more money. We live in a capitalist society.
More money from sky means more money for football/cricket/etc teams. So like hell those guys are gonna go "you know lets have a fairer more even distrobution where we make less money!"
Sandel wearing retards.
"soon however News Corps' Stream and TelePiu merged to form SKYItalia"
Although at least in Italy Sky were effectively forced to release an NDS CAM so that subscribers could continue to use their own existing hardware (of whatever brand) and not be required to use Sky digiboxes.
Better yet, that means they get to use any PVR box they want without being tied to a Sky subscription like we are.
Unfortunately AFAIK the SkyItalia version of NDS isn't *quite* the same as the UK version.
Sky can keep the football and charge what the hell they like for it, i don't care as i'd sooner watch re-runs of Emmerdale, Eastenders and Corrie all day long than watch a bunch of overpaid nonces dive around a pitch once a week for a hundred grand... but please can someone else have access to the Rugby so i can watch more than a couple of games of a decent sport.
I'd happily (well, not really) pay for Sky if they would come round and fit the ability for me to get Sky+ or preferably HD, but even though i live in an apartment block and have a written agreement from 90% of the people living in it (ok that's only 18 people, but still) that they would sign up if Sky upgraded the LNB and cabled the necessary wires to the apartments they won't do it... i flatly refuse to pay £40 a month or whatever it is to lose the most convenient feature i currently have on my PVR, the ability to record things and watch them when i want.
"Proper football's in the Football League. Standing out on the terraces, all weathers, watching a proper team getting muddy and working for normal money, not prancing around a manicured lawn in a covered stadium and getting paid £100k a week, and rolling around in agony if someone else breathes on them. The sooner Sky-watchers (excluding Patrick Moore of course) understand this concept, the better - and the little clubs might get a fairer slice of the money-spinning pie, whatever one of those tastes like."
bravo, Sir! a man after my own heart! (sure you aren't me?)
Premiership rubbish. Real football is your local team for local people.
I am still miffed that Screensport went. Great choice of live action sports on there. There is also a great choice of Sports on Eurosport, HOWEVER, we do NOT get Eurosport, we get some bastardised channel called Eurosport which is actually a specially created bland UK channel with most sports removed.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Wednesday welcomed the decision by a group of telecom and cable industry associations to abandon their legal challenge of the US state's net neutrality law SB822.
"My office has fought for years to ensure that internet service providers can't interfere with or limit what Californians do online," said Bonta in a statement. "Now the case is finally over.
"Following multiple defeats in court, internet service providers have abandoned this effort to block enforcement of California's net neutrality law. With this victory, we’ve secured a free and open internet for California's 40 million residents once and for all."
The Biden White House has put forward a plan that could see 40 percent of households in the United States getting subsidized high-speed internet, with some having service free of charge.
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created as part of the recently passed infrastructure law, and will reimburse bills from internet service providers (ISPs).
Households covered by the ACP will have internet service costs reduced by up to $30 a month, or up to $75 a month if they live on tribal lands.
The FTC has settled a case in which Frontier Communications was accused of charging high prices for under-delivered internet connectivity.
The US telecommunications giant has promised to be clearer with subscribers on connection speeds, and will cough up more than $8.5 million, or less than a day in annual profit, to end the matter.
Frontier used to primarily pipe broadband over phone lines to people in rural areas, expanded to cities, and today supplies the usual fare to homes and businesses: fiber internet, TV, and phone services.
Starlink customers who've been itching to take their dish on the road can finally do so – for a price.
The Musk-owned satellite internet service provider quietly rolled out a feature this week called Portability which, for an additional $25 per month, will allow customers to take their service with them anywhere on the same continent – provided they can find a clear line-of-sight to the sky and the necessary power needed to keep the data flowing.
That doesn't mean potential Starlink customers sign up for service in an area without a wait list and take their satellite to a more congested area. Sneaky, but you won't get away with it. If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service if there's not enough bandwidth to go around, or there's another outage.
The Communication and Workers Union (CWU) will this week publish the timetable to run an industrial action ballot over the pay rise BT gave to members recently, with the telco's subsidiaries to vote separately.
Earlier this month, BT paid its 58,000 frontline workers a flat rate increase of £1,500 ($1,930) for the year, upping it from the £1,200 ($1,545) initially offered. BT hadn't cleared this increase with the CWU, and the union branded the offer as unacceptable at a time when inflation in Britain is expected to soar by 10 percent this year.
In a public town hall meeting last week, the CWU said it will take an "emergency motion" to the Annual Conference this week to "set out the exact ballot timetable," said Karen Rose, vice president at CWU.
Parts of South Yorkshire are to get fiber broadband run through mains water pipes in a two-year trial to evaluate the viability of the technology for connecting more homes.
The move will see fiber-optic cable strung through 17 kilometers of water mains between Barnsley and Penistone under a government-sanctioned technology trial. The project appears to be part of a £4m fund announced last year to trial ways of connecting up hard-to-reach homes without digging up roads.
Another section of the trial will be to test out whether fiber installed inside water pipes can be used to help water companies detect leaks, and so cut down on water wastage.
Based on 41 packages, the average cost per month for broadband in Britain came in at $39.01. Stateside, this rose to $55, from 34 packages measured.
For these bulwarks of western democracy, 92nd and 134th place isn't particularly impressive. But if you really want to shave the dollars off your internet bill, you have a number of options.
Column I heard an electric discharge, a bit like a Jacob's ladder, immediately before a deafening crack of thunder. I'd never been so close to a lightning strike! All of the lights in the house went bright, then dimmed, then went back to normal. "Uh-oh," I thought, "I'm in trouble now." Everything in the house had been hit by a nasty surge and the oft-spoken aphorism that broadband services are now a utility to rank with water and electricity was suddenly very, very, real to me.
But it was electricity I worried about first. I use top of the line surge protectors so my most sensitive devices – computers and monitors, of which I have many – all seemed fine. But I'd overlooked two other connections that come into nearly every home: the antenna and the phone line.
My television seemed to have taken a direct hit. It still worked – mostly – but appeared unable to receive any digital broadcasts. That circuit, lying on the other side of the antenna lead, likely took a big hit from the lightning strike. But the rest of the television seemed fine – at first. After a few days, and several spontaneous reboots, I began to intuit that devices don't always immediately fail when hit by lightning. Sometimes they gradually shed their functions and utility.
The telecoms kit market had a good 2021 with revenues close to $100bn, up more than 20 percent since 2017, but growth is now slowing, according to analyst Dell'Oro Group. Huawei is also starting to feel the effect of sanctions, but still leads the global market by a fair margin.
However, the Dell'Oro Group's prediction of slightly less growth for 2022 may turn out to be optimistic amid warnings that the Ukraine war is already having an impact on the fragile supply chain recovery.
Dell'Oro's analysis is based on the telecoms market sectors it monitors, including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network (MCN), Radio Access Network (RAN), and Service Provider Router & Switch.
Optical-fibre internet now makes up 32 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions across the OECD countries, and is the fastest growing broadband technology. However, there is a mixed picture with cable still dominant in the Americas and the UK still predominantly DSL.
These figures come from an update to the OECD's broadband portal, indicating that fibre subscriptions grew by 15 per cent across the OECD countries between June 2020 and June 2021, with demand for faster internet speeds as employees worked remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions cited as one reason.
Fixed broadband subscriptions in OECD countries totalled 462.5 million as of June 2021, up from 443 million a year earlier, while mobile broadband subscriptions totalled 1.67 billion, up from 1.57 billion a year earlier.
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