Should OFCOM mandate that all DVB-T (Freeview) channels are Free-to-Air?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by ianjm, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. ianjm

    ianjm
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    I'd be in favour of this. Top-Up TV be damned (what a waste of time!)

    Hearing the rumors a few months ago that Sky were considering axing Sky Three/News/SportsNews and introducing MPEG-4 subscription channels in their place sent shivers down my spine.

    Terrestrial UHF frequencies are so limited (and this isn't going to go away: it's just going to be eased by the analogue switch-off), doesn't it make sense to maintain this solely as a platform for people who don't want to cough up a monthly subscription?

    I'd love to see a post-analogue DVB-T service (called Freeview) with entirely FREE channels, quality publically-funded or advertisement-funded services like BBC Three/Four, More4/E4/FilmFour or ABC1.

    Or are we really going to let companies like Sky hold UHF hostage as they have satellite in the UK? There is a perfectly reasonable and accessible PayTV platform available: it's called Sky Digital. And subscription channels can far more easily amortise the cost of satellite dish installation, since they have a guaranteed income for 12 months off whoever subscribes.

    I'd love to see a Freeview run competitively by OFCOM using all the available UHF frequency band comprised of solely quality free-to-air channels, still a competitive, open market for new channels to open and close as capacity becomes available; but with a simple OFCOM rule saying you need to transmit in the clear, so preserving decent TV choice for those of us who don't want or can't have a dish or cable installed.

    I also think this would make the market _more_ competitive, not less, since OFCOM can allow sporting events or other programmes they feel are in the 'national interest' to be competitively sold to any channel transmitting on Freeview (rather than the "BBC or ITV" situation we have now for international footie and the Olympics), and with the enhanced capacity, there might be room for a 'local channels' multiplex on each transmitter.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    As with all such things; the consumer is King.

    If all TV consumers were like me, then Sky would have gone out business long ago as a subscription service.

    If the consumer with an aerial wants free TV then, like me, they won't subscribe to any pay offering and they will therefore cease trading. And, if the consumer with an aerial (in sufficient volume) wants to pay a subscription or per-view, then they'll stay.

    It will, as they say, be market led.
     

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