Ofcom is to impose conditions on the conditional access services provided by Top Up TV. Previously the rules requiring a platform operator to provide indiscriminate access to broadcasters have only been imposed on Sky’s satellite platform, and while these rules will form the basis of the rules applied to Top Up TV, the regulator is characteristically launching a consultation on the process.
Ofcom’s decision to consider regulating the DTT pay platform comes after last December’s shift by Top Up TV to a largely on demand service, as opposed to the previous strategy of offering a selection on linear channels broadcast at various times. The centrepiece of Top Up TV’s offer is now Setanta Sports, which has secured the rights to two of the six Premiership football packages from the start of the next season, and starts transmissions on March 1. However, Setanta’s position as the sole supplier of live Premiership on the DTT platform will come under threat should Ofcom agree to Sky’s request to convert its current DTT capacity to a pay-TV service.
The consultation will close on April 27.