A group of 14 would-be local television operators have written to The Times, accusing Britain’s major channels of attempting to hijack the market through the launch of YouView.
Included in the group are ULTV and Six TV, which have already submitted formal complaints to Ofcom, as well as the KM Group, which runs a number of newspapers and radio stations in south east England.
The letter says that the YouView shareholders, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva, have effectively parachuted themselves into the connected TV environment. “The BBC and its partners claim that YouView offers a common set of technical standards that will help everyone get the best out of this exciting new world. But it can equally be interpreted as an attempt by some of the biggest players in the business to hijack this fledgling market, impose their own vision of how it will operate and dictate the viewers’ experience.”
It says there has been no independent scrutiny of the project, which in their opinion should not be unleashed without a thorough investigation.
However, support for YouView has come from Looking Local (formerly DigiTV), originally part of the then ODPM’s e-Government programme, and now a service owned and managed by Kirklees Council on behalf of the UK local government (and partner) community.
In a statement Looking Local confirmed its support for YouView and said it would seek to use the platform at the earliest opportunity.