The Competition Commission is to widen its investigation into the supply of pay-TV movies following the launch of OTT services from Netflix and Lovefilm.
In a new working paper the Commission explains the two companies have acquired the rights to stream first subscription pay-TV window (FSPTW) movies from many of the large non-major studios and rights from many major and non-major studios to stream movies in subsequent subscription pay-TV windows.
Studios such as MGM, which previously sold their FSPTW content to Sky alone, now have contracts with a number of pay platforms. Netflix and Lovefilm have also opened up a secondary pay window (SSPTW) that runs immediately after the FSPTW.
At the same time Sky has announced plans for its own OTT streaming service featuring Sky Movies and announced plans for changes to its other services, such as the opening up of the Sky+ HD receiver for streamed content, regardless of the subscribers ISP.
The Commission is seeking to establish whether the launch of the new services from Netflix and Lovefilm impacts on its original findings.
In its original findings, published the previous August the Commission said it found Sky’s control over pay-TV movie rights in the UK is restricting competition between pay-TV providers, leading to higher prices and reduced choice and innovation for subscribers. As a remedy it suggested that a cap be imposed on the number of exclusive contracts Sky could hold.
It later suggested BSkyB could be required to provide customer access to its Anytime+ pull VOD movies to any qualifying over-the-top movie service.