Ofcom has said it is prepared to give Sky permission to launch its DTT pay service Picnic, subject to a number of conditions. These include making the premium movie and sports channels that Picnic was proposing to include made available on a wholesale basis.
Earlier this month Sky said it had dropped Picnic, blaming a lack of clarity from Ofcom, though the broadcaster remains interested in the proposal. The original plan was to combine a mini-pay package including Sky One, Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky News, Disney Channel and Discovery Channel with broadband and telephony services.
“Ofcom considers that certain content – live Premier League football and first-run Hollywood films – is of particular importance to consumers of pay-TV services. Ofcom is consulting on its view that BSkyB has market power in the wholesale supply of this content, and that BSkyB has an incentive to limit the distribution of this content to competitors, in a manner that favours its own satellite platform,” the regulator said in a statement that made no reference to Sky’s earlier moves.
Ofcom’s proposals would open up the offer to Top Up TV, which already offers rival channel Setanta to its subscribers, and to IPTV service BT Vision.
Ofcom has launched a 10-week consultation on the proposals that will close on December 10.