back to article BT could lawyer up after Sky’s sport channels obligation removed

BT has attacked Ofcom's decision to lift a five-year-long obligation on Sky to offer its sports channels to competitors in the market. The UK's communications regulator confirmed on Thursday morning it was removing the regulation, which had required the broadcaster to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on a wholesale basis. Ofcom …

  1. Andy Roid McUser

    Hardware

    All I picked up in this article was..

    1. Powerline ethernet capable linux based hardware with hack potential

    2. Sky know how to 'Supercharge'

    The reason we got rid of Sky and went to Netflix was €8 per month for loads of stuff in HD with no ads.

    1. TheProf Silver badge

      Re: Hardware

      'Netflix was €8 per month'

      Just had a look at the Netflix site. Not very forthcoming with what they actually have on offer. I want to see their whole catalogue before parting with money.

      Amazon Prime was the same. I tried the 30 free trial and after a few nights decided they had little on offer that I would want to watch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardware

        Netflix seems to be all modern Hollywierd rubbish. So is Sky, and Amazon. DVDs still reign supreme.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardware

        Just had a look at the Netflix site. Not very forthcoming with what they actually have on offer. I want to see their whole catalogue before parting with money.

        Why not take them up on their free trial offer, then?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hardware

          "Why not take them up on their free trial offer, then?"

          I was given a 6 month gift subscription. We'd seen everything we wanted in the first 3 months or so and new stuff wasn't arriving very often. And the menus are a pain to navigate. I'd much prefer a list of text titles rather than a touch screen oriented "slide the VHS style video covers around" where you can only see a few at a time. The images can be shown to one side as the text title is selected. Cover images are hard to scan quickly because you can't always see the title quickly due to graphic design layout and colours.

          All said and done, my wife asked me one day if the Netflix thingy still worked. It did, but only had two days left so we checked and decided there was almost nothing worth watching that we'd not already seen. No chance of spending money to subscribe based on that.

          I've heard there are ways to get access to the full US catalogue from a UK subscription but we never tried that. I've heard the UK Netflix catalogue is tiny by comparison.

          I might consider a fixed length "gift" subscription again next year when there are likely to be more new things to watch.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hardware

            Another trick Amazon Prime do is list different series of the same programme separately so it appears they have more.

      3. Andy Roid McUser

        Re: Hardware

        There's this Google thingy, brought me here.. http://uk.netflixable.com/2015/11/complete-alphabetical-list-wed-nov-18.html

        Not advocating Netflix over other offerings, but access to complete box sets , tv , movies , documentaries , kids, music all with no ads on any device on multiple simultaneous devices all in HD for less than a tenner requires more thought effort than, 'I looked a bit and couldn't be bothered'.

        Unless you like 10 min long advert breaks for tatt you don't need.

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Hardware

      > 1. Powerline ethernet capable linux based hardware with hack potential

      Yup, I saw that and thought "I've got to get my hands on one to play with"

      Should provide me with some more entertainment :)

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Hardware

        Do you know how to bork a sky satellite so the owner can't find out?

        (Just asking.)

  2. Jagged

    More Offcom not less

    We need more rules like this not less.

    I also think Offcom needs to manage the arbitrary creation of supposedly "new" channels. They all do it, but with the ability to create and distribute a new channel on a whim, companies like Sky can and do move popular content from existing packages to "new" packages in an attempt to gain new customers and "upgrade" (or screw over) existing customers.

    This practice needs to be illegal because companies that indulge in this behaviour are changing the contents of a product they have already sold.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: More Offcom not less

      "companies like Sky can and do move popular content from existing packages to "new" packages in an attempt to gain new customers and "upgrade" (or screw over) existing customers."

      Sky Atlantic. Created especially to screw over Virginmedia and their customers because the "new" channel wasn't in the carriage agreement. SKyOne was already getting crap. Since Atlantic was launched, SkyOne is lttle more than wall to wall Simpsons/Cops with cammeras type shows. I can;t remember when I last watched what used to be Skys "premier" channel.

  3. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "We still believe that effective remedies are essential to address the failure of competition in the Pay TV market, in which Sky has had around 75 per cent share of retail subscription revenues for more than 10 years."

    They then added

    "But our dominance of the landline market provides a fair and unbias communication system which other companies can access (by picking up the phone, attached to our network)"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "by picking up the phone" <> "by picking up and paying for the phone, attached to our network, the profits of which currently pay for our sports stuff, whether you use it or not."

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        "dominant position by making wholesale supply of Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to BT’s YouView platform conditional on BT wholesaling its BT Sport channels to Sky for retail on Sky’s satellite platform"

        Pot - meet Kettle.

  4. M7S
    Flame

    Effing sport

    Why not other things, for example Sci-Fi or other popular drama, comedy and arts programmes? Even Lost when to Sky after two seasons, although one might argue in that instance that we didn't miss anything.

    All I see is my licence fee or line rental to BT paying for the rights to sporting events to a load of crooks and drugs cheats who demand special concessions whenever they come to town and that they don't pay any tax as it's all "for the good of the sport". FIFA, IAAF, the Olympic organising bodies, corrupt, the lot of them.

    I'm regularly in east London and there's naff all "Olympic Legacy" benefitting much of the population, despite it being loaded onto council tax for the next two decades and the accounts kept confidential until long after everyone is due to have retired. Hackney Marshes, where real grass roots football is played is still not properly fixed having been turned into a car park for the two week jolly a few years back.

    1. Velv
      Boffin

      Re: Effing sport

      Sky only PRODUCE a very limited number of channels (~20), and it is those channels it is/was obliged to offer. SyFy for example is owned by NBC, and they are responsible for which providers carry their channel.

      1. Jagged

        Re: Effing sport

        "Sky only PRODUCE a very limited number of channels (~20), and it is those channels it is/was obliged to offer."

        Not true in practice.

        Sky don't "own" ITV, but as soon as they bought a big share in ITV, what happened? ITV announced "ITV Encore" which would only be exclusive to Sky. I think they called it "Encore" to make it sound like a "repeats only" channel, which it isn't, of course.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Effing sport

      "despite it being loaded onto council tax for the next two decades and the accounts kept confidential until long after everyone is due to have retired. "

      Perhaps someone should point Anonymoose in that direction. Exposing where the money went seems to be one of the specialities of some of their members.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Effing sport

        Perhaps someone should point Anonymoose in that direction. Exposing where the money went seems to be one of the specialities of some of their members

        Head of IOC and committee bribes

        Blair and Co retirement funds

        Blairs wife's company as "official legal council"

        Drug test lab bribes

        "trust funds" for the non paid amateur athletes, along with their sponsor money

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The Sky Q boxes will apparently also be able to connect over electric wiring.

    So blocking any radio listening except via the Sky Box.

    Even for people next door (or two doors up). The Electricity meter and/or switch box has negligible effect on powerline signalling

    When are regulators going to test power line networking properly?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The Sky Q boxes will apparently also be able to connect over electric wiring.

      that's a complete generalisation. I have a dab radio happily plugged into the same double socket as my powerlineAV adaptor.

      Or did you actually mean ham listening?

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: did you actually mean ham listening?

        DAB is a crap Ghetto of over compressed poor coverage and inherently rotten ergonomics. It economically gives unfair advantage to national stations.

        Ordinary people (the Majority using Radio) do still use FM Radio, very many use MW & LW, which allows reception of out of local area local & regional. Some people even listen to UK radio outside UK, or non-UK radio in UK on LW, MW and SW.

        The newest Power line specs affect VHF-FM.

        AM, FM, broadcast of any sort or "Ham" (which is licensed) is supposed to be protected by the Regulator and International treaty.

        See how quick Ofcom would be to enforce EXISTING law (no new regulations needed), if their friends, the big cash cows, the Mobile Operators were affected!

        Ofcom don't care even about protecting FM. They want in fact to abolish TV Terrestrial Broadcasting. There isn't even ANY other application to sell off the AM and FM bands to.

        DAB only promoted for the Motorist, even though VHF-FM is actually "better" in many respects. But decent DAB needs 100s more fill in Relays, too expensive for small local stations and needs twice as many multiplexes, at least to give decent bit rate. Even then it's only good for a car radio presets. Digital Radio inherently has terrible ergonomics.

        Have Corporations got the right to ride rough shod over existing consumers, Regulators the right to ignore their own laws, because it not a Mass Market, not Subscription based or not huge Licence revenue?

        1. Stuart 22 Silver badge

          Re: did you actually mean ham listening?

          "Ofcom don't care even about protecting FM. They want in fact to abolish TV Terrestrial Broadcasting. There isn't even ANY other application to sell off the AM and FM bands to."

          Have you been to Ofcom's HQ? Swish isn't the word, the view of the Thames and the City breathtaking. I presume the rent is too. Who are they trying to impress?

          Not you or me. Themselves? They are simply out of control. Even a Treasury mandarin wouldn't enjoy such opulence. So what a surprise they will dump VHF-FM & Terrestrial Telly in the interests of folks whose interest is making money rather than providing a service. If and when they get their hands on the BBC and its assets it will make even John Whittingdale look like their fairy godmother.

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re:Have you been to Ofcom's HQ?

            No, but my shoes were polished by the carpet in Comreg's opulent Dublin tower.

            Any deeper and I'd have met Carpet people.

            Sadly they seem to copy most of their policy from Ofcom, with a dash of whalesong and worst bits of FCC.

            1. JimboSmith Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Re:Have you been to Ofcom's HQ?

              Have an upvote for the Sir pterry reference.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: The Sky Q boxes will apparently also be able to connect over electric wiring.

      "The Electricity meter and/or switch box has negligible effect on powerline signalling"

      You don't want the switch box to, and a few RF clamps work wonders at making sure it doesn't leak.

  6. Tezfair

    No Sky thanks

    I stopped having Sky when they jacked the price up twice in one year. i think it went from £14 to £16. got to be 12+ years ago. Never once wanted to go back. Freeview and Amazon's DVDs cover all my needs, not that I watch much TV anyway.

    But this price war that goes on between Sky / BT / BBC has forced the cost up so high that no one wins in the end (ok, maybe murdock). I used to watch F1, now, hardly ever. Not really interested in footy but the wife will watch MOTD but has LFC TV on her ipad (birthday subcription present).

    However our football mad friend has a season ticket and has sky sports, but even he has said it's just getting too expensive. I think £60 a month was mentioned. ouch.

    I think (and bare in mind I have zero interest in sports so may not be aware of all the facts) the problem comes from the sports bodies that put TV rights up for bids. Whilst it may put money into their teams, ultimatly it has to be the fans that are losing out. Expensive match tickets, or expensive subscriptions. It has to come from somewhere. I can see it all getting to a point where sport becomes only available for the rich, your average working man / family simply won't be able to afford it.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: No Sky thanks

      I can't see why I must pay for their service AND still have to suffer adverts. I'm paying for the privilege of watching something I don't want to see!

      Either make me watch adverts OR charge me a subscription, but not both.

      1. Darren B 1

        Re: No Sky thanks

        I am not defending Sky but take away the Sports and Movie premium channels, do you really think that the channels can survive on the small amount paid to them by sky per subscriber and channels such as Discovery / Dave make new content without Adverts. If you don't want the adverts in such volume use sky's catch up service.

        Look at what you get for your money:

        £20 = 35+ paid for channels or 57p per channel per subscriber (that's without Sky taking an admin fee which I assume they do to process your account)

        £30 = 75+ paid for channels or 40p per channel per subscriber

        Both quote 240 FTA channels.

        I would suggest even with the user base sky has, the totals given to each paid for channel is significantly less than the BBC gets per channel from the TV Licence and the BBC is in financial problems highlighted only this week.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Look at what you get for your money:

          Very little as over 80% of what people watch on Sky are actually free to air channels. Sky 1 has one of the higher viewing figures of < 2%!

          BARB in UK.

          Neilsen in Ireland.

          It's a rip off.

          How do you think they can afford free install, free box (and currently in Ireland a free 32" LG TV). You even own the install from day 1.

          But the box is crippled if you cancel.

          Sky ALSO massively overcharge channels for the EPG and moderately overcharge any 3rd party wanting Sky encryption. That's for people paying for their own uplink and satellite space. Sky just rent sat space for their own channels (with a few exceptions).

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: Look at what you get for your money:

            I work somewhere where I have to walk past the Sky stand to get to work. Bloke on the stand started to try and get me to sign up to Sky one morning. I said no and walked past but next morning I'm approached again and he asks why I don't want his lovely sky box plus subscription. I explained that I already have a satellite receiver which is in many respects better to my mind than the Sky box. No we have the best receiver out there, yours can't be better what is our HD box missing. I explained that the Azbox I have can:

            use removable storage as well as internal.

            I can record and watch the recordings on my computer, etc. with no DRM.

            I have usals and disceq meaning I'm not tied to one satellite.

            I can surf the internet and add more receiver modules if I want including DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-S etc.

            It has CAM slots and will decode 4:2:2.

            I can delete, rename, reorder and renumber channels.

            I can watch things especially sporting events for free on foreign channels that Sky charge for.

            Ah he say but can you watch Sky on it? I explained that as soon as they launched a CAM I would be able to do so. I also would consider it once they did but not until. In the meantime I might consider a different foreign package.

        2. Jagged

          Re: No Sky thanks

          "I would suggest even with the user base sky has, the totals given to each paid for channel is significantly less than the BBC gets per channel from the TV Licence"

          - Except those 240+ channels are not "real" channels. Most are just repeating the same content over and over. Very few have real content. Even fewer have unique content.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: No Sky thanks

        I can't see why I must pay for their service AND still have to suffer adverts.

        For two reasons: First-off Sky only 'own' a few of the channels available on their platform. For the rest of them you'd have to work out some way for Sky to funnel part of the subscription cost to them. A further problem is that few people would be prepared to pay enough to ensure that no channel felt the need to insert adverts.

        The second reason is more technical. If you wanted Discovery to be advert free how do you address the fact that it's available on two platforms? At present I assume the feed is just split and one stream goes to Sky's upload centre, the other goes to Virgin's. Now you're suggesting - what - two versions of Discovery? One without adverts (and presumably more overall 'programming time' and one with adverts? And where I used Discovery in this example I could also have used ITV. Or Channel 4. All three are independent broadcasters that Sky has no control over. If you can have Discovery without adverts it would be reasonable to expect ITV without adverts.

        1. Lamont Cranston

          Re: "available on two platforms"

          Netflix and Amazon both offer TV shows without advert breaks. Programming schedules are the past, I would have thought, but that won't stop Sky milking its subscribers for all they're worth.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: "available on two platforms"

            I agree that programming schedules are old school. I record everything and never watch live precisely so that I can zip past the adverts. But it turns out that most people still like the communal 'camp fire' experience of knowing that other people are watching the same thing at the same time, enhanced perhaps by tweeting their experiences as they watch.

            [It] won't stop Sky milking its subscribers for all they're worth.

            I'm not sure you're grasping the difference between 'available on the Sky platform' and 'A channel that is owned by Sky'. The vast majority of channels available through the Sky platform are not owned by them. Discovery carries adverts because Discovery Communications Plc wants it to. History carries adverts because AETN want it to.

            At its heart all Sky is is an EPG. I think I read once that they designed the original upload equipment but basically anyone who can bounce a TV channel off a satellite can pay to be listed on Sky's EPG. Aside from feeding them your programme metadata the rest of the transmission chain need have nothing to do with Sky. Channel operators pay Sky for a spot on their EPG and (I think) the rights to use their encryption system if they want it. Sky offers them a discount on their fee based on how much value it perceives they add to the platform.

            There would have to be a radical departure in Sky's business model (and that of the channels themselves) to remove adverts. It would shake the broadcasting industry to its foundations. You're talking about removing their primary source of income and in this case making them dependent on an unconnected company for their survival.

            And that's before you start asking how much adverts are worth to broadcasters and how much subscriptions would have to rise to cover the costs. Understand - I'm not saying that Netflix et al aren't the way to go - they may well be. All I'm trying to do is explain why 'having a go at Sky' is inappropriate in this case. It's mostly out of their control - something I dare say this new box of theirs is trying to address.

            1. Lamont Cranston

              Re: "available on two platforms"

              Upvote for you, AndrueC, as you've made me think about how Sky works. Doesn't change the fact that consumers are paying Sky for the privilege of having adverts broadcast into their homes, though.

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: No Sky thanks

          you'd have to work out some way for Sky to funnel part of the subscription cost to them

          That's the easy part. The problem is that the media conglomerates don't like people choosing which channels they want to pay for as it would dilute their revenue stream: they much prefer to have bundled packages which force people to pay multiple times for content they don't want to watch.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: No Sky thanks

            "The problem is that the media conglomerates don't like people choosing which channels they want to pay for"

            And yet Sky sell the Now TV box (cut down Roku) for a tenner, with a couple of vouchers included (I onsold mine for a tenner, making the box free) and 5 mins work hacks it into a very nice little Plex display for any dumb TV.

            They may count me as a customer, but the reality is that it's _never_ carried any "Sky" media in its life.

        3. Mage Silver badge

          Re: If you wanted Discovery to be advert free?

          " If you wanted Discovery to be advert free how do you address the fact that it's available on two platforms?"

          Discovery is Pay TV only.

          All pay TV channels ought to be Advert free. They are charging plenty. Also amazing the amount of repeats and even previously FTA content on Pay TV cnannels.

          While I'm on a rant can't ASA etc BAN Sky, Netflix etc advertising access to box sets? They do not. They let you rent / stream content. To access the box sets you buy DVDs or BluRay from Tesco, Amazon's Shop etc. Not watch streaming or broadcast.

          Even rental of a physical boxed set is sort of accessing it. Netflix and Sky is not.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: If you wanted Discovery to be advert free?

            All pay TV channels ought to be Advert free. They are charging plenty.

            Discovery is not charging anything - at least not on Sky's UK platform (I've no idea how VM work it but it's probably similar). Sky is charging the public for access to its platform and also charging Discovery Communications to be listed on the EPG. It's probably charging them a lot given that it's in the prime Documentary slot. Discovery Communications will be getting a discount due to their relative popularity and value to the Sky platform but overall they will be paying to have their content made available in UK homes.

            Someone who appears to sell EPG slots giving some figures.

            also here for some more pricing information:

            Change to the way Sky charges BBC and ITV giving some figures.

            There is no way that most channels on Sky's platform could survive without advertising under the current model. And producing advert free versions would be a nightmare. And I know I wouldn't want to be reliant on Sky to keep my company alive (which is what you and others are proposing here). Aside from the inherent risk it puts a huge amount of control on Sky's hands. You pretty much lose all control over your channel and might as well just hand everything over to Sky and give up.

            1. tin 2

              Re: If you wanted Discovery to be advert free?

              ^^ this. Sky's best move ever (and the unfortunate British viewing public's worst one) was to invent the EPG.

              Before Sky Digital and the EPG, advertising funded channels managed to survive FTA. Once Sky figured out a way to extract money out of these channels by charging them solely for enabling a viewer's satellite box to be able to tune into them - something we managed perfectly well without before the EPG - the game was over.

              Add in some discounted services like uplinking, managing their advertising, and now you have all that Mr Broadcaster, how about some cheap encryption? - all money to Sky rather than someone else and the broadcaster might as well as it's a cheaper service for them - then you can see why they are laughing all the way to the bank. They're having their cake, and yours, and the broadcasters', and smearing it all over their dirty greedy fat faces.

              These days Sky do next to nothing except charge broadcasters money to sell the same old stuff to customers for ever increasing prices because they've manoeuvred themselves right in the middle. And there's a whole bunch of us cribbing about the TV licence?

              It's a massive crying shame our regulators are so shit. TBH Sky the broadcaster needs splitting from Sky the digital platform far more urgently than BT retail needs splitting from BT openreach. Cos at least BT are making a fist of looking like everyone can do business with openreach on the same terms.

  7. Ol' Grumpy

    I got rid of Sky a few years ago moving over to Freesat when it became viable and haven't looked back since. I don't have any interest in sport so I don't think we are missing much and the effects the excessive adverts on the kids channels have on my young daughter when we go over to the grandparents is astonishing and not in a good way.

  8. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Sky claimed that a new Sky Q hub would "supercharge" a subscriber's broadband connection by turning Sky Q boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots for a stronger signal indoors.

    What a load of marketing tosh.

    1. Tim Jenkins

      Not entirely tosh; my reading of it is that if you opt for the new multi-room model, each additional 'Sky Q mini' box acts as a wifi repeater, via either 802.11 or powerline, presumably in order to get ensure bandwidth to stream HD content to other TVs or wireless devices from the 'master' box that holds the hard drive and connects to the satellite feeds. I'm actually quite looking forward to it, as it bugs me that I have recorded programmes in the living room which I can't access in the bedroom, even though the Sky HD+ box itself is on the house LAN and WLAN...

      http://www.techradar.com/news/television/first-impression-sky-q-1309224

  9. james.aka.damingo

    <shakes head/>

    [They have something better than me, that's not fair]....

    It's called sky sport; they pay for it's content. If you want it's content pay more for it than they do; simple.

    My neighbor has a better car than me because he gets paid more than me by his employer. I want to drive a nice expensive car so I think my employer should have to pay me the same because its not fair otherwise. Or STFU.

    If you can't compete in the market then close your company.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: <shakes head/> Monoploy

      Most people don't have good enough BB for Netflix or BT's TV offering.

      Outside Cabled areas and urban VDSL/Fibre areas in UK & Ireland, Sky has a total monopoly (unlike some other countries).

      In entirety of UK and Ireland they have an effective monopoly of Satellite PayTV.

      FTA stations can't sensibly compete with Sky to buy rights. Sky has totally distorted UK Football with the high payments and is moving on to distort other sports.

      The clubs are not benefiting as they end up paying crazy money to players. It's ripping off the consumer and destroying sport.

      Worse, the half baked regulation means that some sports fans now need THREE subscriptions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: <shakes head/> Monoploy

        Totally agree with all of that!

        If I could ditch Sky I would but living in the country (and by the coast) we haven't really got an option. No Virgin and because we're on the coast and in the shadow sector of the main TV transmitter (15 miles away) our TV comes off a relay so we only get around 10 (count them!) 10 freeview channels! (oh and no DAB not that you'd miss that load of old tosh).

        This year has been totally shite. Sky losing champions league to BT and BT now charging for watching BT sport on Sky (was free for BT broadband customers) And despite Sky losing champions league they still have the nerve to stick their prices up despite I'm now getting LESS and paying more for it! ROBBING BASTARDS

        And lower league footy clubs have been totally shafted and see sod all of the massive revenues Sky have thrown at premier league clubs. You have clubs like Torquay, Halifax Town, Northampton, Plymouth Argyle, etc nearly and in some case having gone out of business for the sake of a a few days of a Premiership players salary!

        Rant over (saying that Sky Q does look pretty good, of course it'll be FECKING expensive!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: <shakes head/> Monoploy

          There is such a thing as freeSAT or even just keeping your existing sky hardware and cancelling your subscription after a year.

          OFCOM are IMHO just a bunch of oldboys who look after their friends, from previous actions it is clear that they know little about communications or providing a service to the people who pay their wages. Personally I would close them down and get in new people who are less influenced by big money, afterall they are supposedly there to protect the UK public interests rather than just their friends.

          My understanding was that the sanctions against SKY were put in place because they (SKY) created a monopoly on access to sporting events. Until the sporting venues are required to allow recording access to all broadcasters then nothing has changed and hence the sanctions should still apply. Personally I have little simpathy for the venues, they already make far too much money without historically spending enough on safety to protect attendees and so stopping them making exclusive recoding contracts is more than reasonable and in the public interest.

      2. King Jack
        Facepalm

        Re: <shakes head/> Monoploy

        All the fans need do is to un-subscribe for one season. If everyone did that, the prices would fall to a reasonable level overnight. Things only have a given value if you are willing to pay it. Leave Sky and BT high and dry with an overpriced product that they cannot sell. In a fortnight it would be free to air to glean some advertising revenue. All this expensive sport nonsense is brought in by the public willing to suck Sky's teat. But that will never happen cos Man Utd, got to watch mentality.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky is daylight robbery

    £60/month? £720/year? WTF?

    Give it up and you soon won't notice the loss. Most of it is drivel anyway (IMHO).

    Gave mine up about 5 years ago. VM can go and get stuffed as well.

    I record everything I want to watch from FreeSat.

    Yes I'm a skinflint.

  11. elaar

    This will only hurt consumers further. If others companies aren't able to include Sky Sports in their channel listings then surely they'll be more active next time sporting rights are bid on?

    I left BT broadband recently, £47 just for phone line/infinity because of all of the footie crap they keep buying.

  12. ShaolinTurbo

    What?

    There are still nutters out there that subscribe to Sky?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky unlikely to stop making channels available

    I'm sure some of those who take Sky Sports through another provider are doing it because they can't have a satellite tv system fitted where they live (obstructions, planning restrictions, no view of satellite etc.) but still want to watch the sport. Others will be refusing Sky because the one-box-per-household model doesn't fit. The new box goes some way to addressing this, but the per-screen additional costs have always stung a bit and look likely to continue.

    In any case, assuming Sky starts limiting supply to other networks, some users will get their sport online for free whilst others will go without. Sky will lose some money. This is not something they like, it is much preferable to gain money than lose it. I suppose they have modelled all this in intricate detail for years in order to select appropriate retail pricing levels for their day passes or online subs.

    I expect this rule change will just give Sky a bargaining chip to use to get access to BT's Champions League coverage at preferential rates. They will continue to sell Sky Sports on non-Sky platforms, they might increase the prices, and they might demand return access to those providers' own exclusive sports offerings.

    Do Virgin have any exclusive sports they can use as leverage? Looks like they will need something soon.

    Incidentally BT, you can fuck right off with your broadband and tv package as soon as my contract period is up - trying to increase my price for sport you bought which I don't want to watch in order to keep sport I do want to watch with the side effect of re-establishing a contract date, is a cunt's trick.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boo Hoo. BT in danger of some form of injustice by being denied access to the Sky channels. They need a dose of their own medicine.

    The TV market is not a fluid environment and content ownership with exclusive deals do prevent end users watching things.

    The new model is Freeview and streaming services, Prime, Now and/or Netflix. Much much more affordable and fits with how and when people want it.

    Recently, BT got the Fear the Walking dead series and this was annoying that it was restricted to a package that was mega expensive if all you wanted was that program. The rights owners for that program might have made more streaming themselves. That would be an interesting model.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I still watch Storage Hunters for free?

    If so I am fine with the changes whatever they are.

  16. excollier

    I dumped Sky while they were still analogue. Never used 'pay' tv since.

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