Does ITV3 FTA herald Freedom from Sky for all Main Channels?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by rogerh, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. rogerh

    rogerh
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    With ITV 3 surprising us all (well me anyway) by not only being FREE TO AIR but also included in the Sky EPG, does this herald the move by ITV to Free to Air for ITV1 and ITV2 when the current Sky encryption agreement runs out?
    After all the move to Astra 2D to join the BBC must also be significant.
    If so that would only leave Channel 4 and Channel 5 to follow and together with the BBC we would at last have the main channels available without the compulsory Sky subscription :clap:
    As many already survive without Channel 5, the pressure ought to be really on for Channel 4 if it doesn't want to lose out on advertising revenue.
    For us it would not only mean that satelitte viewers no longer have to subscribe to channels they don't want in order to watch the main channels, but we would also be able to have free choice of the kit we buy :clap:
    Just think of the choice already out there but hampered by it's inability to be allowed a Videguard decoder.
    I for one applaud ITV and look forward to the day when the viewer can at last
    have freedom to choose his/her kit.
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    It's all down to money, if the cost of encryption is higher than purchasing the appropriate rights and being able to have the same program lineup for Dsat as it does for terrestrial then FTA is the way to go. If encryption is lower then ITV will choose to stay as a FTV channel, there really are no real gains to be made in viewing figures and therefore advertising revenue by being FTA on Dsat when over 7.5million households can already watch your channel.
    As for ITV2, well it was always up to ITV if it was FTA/FTV. Without SKY paying them around £3million it would have stayed off Dsat altogether and been used a promotional tool for On/ITV digital in the war with SKY. So again it's status depends upon what ITV want to do and if they can get a deal from SKY which suits them.
    The BBC had a political agenda in there move to FTA, ITV have an economic agenda that leaves the door open for SKY to slash it's price structure to keep ITV if they want them.

    Viewing the terrestrial channels on Dsat for the majority of SKY D's lifetime hasn't needed a subscription, the FTV cards were issued free to any UK household that wanted them and then for a brief period when no one was willing to issue them they were again offered for a small fee. Right the second you do not need to subscribe to SKY to watch the terrestrial analogue channels on Dsat but as you point out you are restricted to SKY hardware which while it does the job has not benefited from an aggressive market such as exists for Freeview.

    Ch4 has a long term contract with SKY for the simple reason it has PAY channel interests and no doubt got a good deal for the whole package. There is also the obvious advantage in that they do not have a couple of dozen regions to get carriage for which inflates the price dramatically. CH4 and Five are so far in the black with the FTV carriage that I can not see them moving to FTA unless something quite remarkable happens since there is no practical return for them, there is not going to be the explosion of Dsat viewers like there was for DTT.
     

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