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13/03/2003

ITV applaud BBC decision to ditch Sky

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ITV joint managing director Clive Jones has welcomed the BBC's decision to remove themselves from the Sky platform, and implied that ITV may act in a similar fashion when their contract with BSkyB comes up for renewal in August 2004.
ITV have, along with the BBC, been lobbying for a reduction in carriage charges on the Sky platform.
Mr Jones said: "We understand entirely why the BBC has felt it necessary to take this course of action and wish them every success.
"The public service broadcasters have long argued that the price Sky charges for conditional access is too high.
"ITV currently needs Sky's conditional access facilities in order to deliver the best regional service to viewers, but the £17m per annum that ITV pays for this service bears no relation to its actual cost. This is the fault of a regulatory regime that allows a dominant market player to extract monopoly prices from customers without fear of recourse from the regulator."
Sky successfully argued to regulators in November 2002 that it is fair that the BBC and ITV pay a market rate for their transmission space.
(GB)

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