Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

National Consumer Council Warn Digital TV Giants Could Face Complaint

Virgin Media and BSkyB could face an official complaint following a row between the two companies which has left hundreds of thousands of customers without their favourite channels, the National Consumer Council has said.
The consumer body said it would consider invoking its statutory powers to push for a review of the digital television market from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) if the situation is not resolved.
The switch-off came on February 28 after the deadline passed for the companies to resolve a row over TV rights. Reports suggest the row is over how much Virgin Media - a merger of NTL and Virgin Mobile - pays Sky to screen its channels.
National Consumer Council Philip Cullum said: "The fallout from the dispute between Virgin Media and BSkyB is bad news for customers. Over three million Virgin Media customers have been left high and dry."
The NCC will be making a decision by the end of March as whether to exercise its statutory powers under the Enterprises Act.
Sky has rejected Virgin Media's offer of arbitration and Virgin Media has rejected Sky's latest offer, confirming it would not table a new offer of its own.
Sky has also proposed to retail its basic channels directly to Virgin Media customers if Virgin Media will provide access to its closed platform.
Sky One includes popular series such as '24' and 'Lost' as well as new episodes of 'The Simpsons'.
Virgin Media CEO Steve Burch commented on the dispute: "We're disappointed but not surprised by this outcome: nothing Sky have said or done in the course of the negotiation indicates that they had the slightest interest in doing a commercially viable deal. Their action here is consistent with their plans to withdraw their free channels from Freeview."
Virgin founder Richard Branson said: "We're sorry that Sky have pulled their basic channels from our service. These however do not include their sports and movie channels, which continue to be available to Virgin Media's customers."
A statement on Sky's website said: "Unfortunately Virgin Media have decided to drop these channels. This was their decision. As a "closed network" only they can decide what to offer their customers. Up to the final hours we tried time and again to reach a solution, including proposing a way for Sky to retail channels directly to cable customers in a way that would cost Virgin Media nothing."
A Sky spokesperson has said: "If Virgin decides that it wants to bring back the TV that its customers enjoy, we're available for talks at any time."
A complaint could lead to enforcement action by the OFT, the launch of a market study, or referral to the Competition Commission.
Meanwhile, the government has ordered media regulator Ofcom to investigate BSkyB's controversial purchase of a 17.9% stake in ITV.
BSkyB's decision to buy into ITV was seen by some as an attempt to block a bid for the firm from its then rival NTL.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Ofcom To Investigate Pay TV in UK
Ofcom has announced that it will investigate the pay TV market after receiving a submission from BT, Setanta, Top Up TV, and Virgin Media. The regulat
Globecast Partners With Virgin Media
Globecast has partnered with Virgin Media to supply seven channels for the platform's expanding international television content. In total, Virgin Med
Virgin Media And FilmFlex Roll Out Next Generation video On Demand
FilmFlex, a movies-on-demand service provider, and Virgin Media announced a new partnership to drive the development of the state-of-the-art technolog
Media Links To Showcase New IP Media Gateway
Media Links has announced that it will demonstrate its new MDP 3020 IP Media Gateway at NAB NY 2017, Booth N624, which takes place later this month. T
Big Pic Media To Exhibit At Media Production Show
Big Pic Media has announced it is to exhibit a wide range of tools for ingest, QC, transcode, encode and delivery on stand 510 at the Media Production
Production News : Sky And Virgin Media Announce New Partnership
Virgin Media and Sky have agreed a new, multi-year partnership that will see the two pay TV companies strengthen their track-record of collaboration a
Thousands Of Hours Of ITV Shows On Demand on Virgin Media
ITV and Virgin Media recently announced a deal to make some of the nation's favourite television shows available on demand to Virgin Media's digital T
London Calling!
Christy Media Solutions is exhibiting at the Media Production Show in London (Stand 100). Christy Media Solutions is back in London again this month,
Media Links To Attend InterBee 2017
Media Links has confirmed that it is to attend InterBee 2017 later this month to demonstrate the latest developments for its IP media transport soluti
BSkyB Buys Virgin Media
There's a major shake-up underway in broadcasting with news that the satellite broadcaster BSkyB has bought Virgin Media TV. The £160m deal will allow
Entries Closed For Virgin Media Discovers Competition
Entries are now closed for the Virgin Media Discovers competition. Over 600 short film scripts have been submitted by aspiring screenwriters and film
BSkyB Creates London Networked Media Distribution Centre Based On DayPort
Dayport recently secured an order from BSkyB (Sky) to create a Networked Media Distribution Centre – NMDC - to be based at its headquarters in West Lo
BBC Reveals Virgin Media TiVo Deal
Virgin Media and the BBC have announced a new deal that will bring next-generation BBC TV services to the Virgin Media TiVo Service in 2012, continuin
IBC2017: At The Core Of Global Media And Digital Industry Trends
With its Digital Tech Hub, Qvest Media is encouraging the exchange of global trends between the media and broadcasting industry at this year's IBC Sho
Production News : Sky To Launch Animation Channel
Sky Cinema is offering both classic and new animation titles on a channel for the first time starting this month. Launching on Saturday 14 October, an