Sky is planning to stop channels from sitting on positions within the EPG by increasing the number of broadcast hours required to maintain a position in the guide. The move comes following Sky’s recent proposals to cease accepting applications for new channel launches – an action expected to be accompanied by an increase in channels selling on their EPG slots to other broadcasters.
Currently Sky requires each TV or radio service listed in its Sky Guide to broadcast no less than 12 hours a week of so called “non-repeating programming” – programming not already scheduled and broadcast during a relevant period.
New rules from July 1, 2008 will require broadcasters to offer at least 6 hours of non-repeating programming over a 24-hour period and 24 hours of non-repeating programming in a seven-day period.
Customer channels, retail channels and barker channels for pay-per-view services will be excluded from the rules, but shopping channels that currently have separate rules will be brought into the new regime from January 1, 2009.