The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) is pushing ahead with plans to regulate Electronic Programme Guides for multichannel broadcasters in the country. It means that providers including Sky Digital and UPC Ireland would be required to give priority to Irish broadcasters.
In the Irish Republic, Sky gives priority to RTE 1,RTE 2,TV3 and TG4, which take the top positions that are occupied by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. The British stations appear lower down the guide for Irish viewers. Recently launched Dublin station Channel 6 is seeking a more prominent position in the guide.
It is expected that Sky will argue that it should be regulated only by the UK’s Ofcom. However, if the BCI wins the day Sky could be forced to run a significantly different numbering scheme for Irish viewers.
The BCI is expected to discuss its EPG proposals in October.