Ofcom has launched a review of competition rules in its Electronic Programme Guide code.
The code is designed to ensure fairness in how platform providers treat television channels and allocate slots in the EPG. The regulator believes the current rules to be working well and is proposing only minor changes to the code.
It wants consultations held by EPG providers on their policies on channel listings to be transparent, have reasonable timeframes for parties to comment and set reasonable implementation timeframes.
However, a report commissioned by Ofcom from the media consultancy Mediatique suggests the UK’s public service broadcasters’ prominence on smart TVs and streaming sticks and faces being undermined by commercial deals being struck by international streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+.
It cites negotiations between Netflix and Sony, which extends beyond the Netflix button on the remote and onto content delivery, cloud services; revenue shares on data-enabled programmatic advertising, subscriptions and TVOD. In addition, Amazon Prime Video has its own horizontal content aggregation relationships with its Amazon Fire devices.
“The control of the OS [operating system] in terms of data, advertising, and potentially billing, will generate significant revenue opportunities in the future, over which consolidated OS providers will have a significant claim,” says Mediatique.
It believes PSBs may be able to rely on continued consumer loyalty to domestic content brands and services, at least for a time; however, ultimately global arrangements are set to trump domestic bargains, and PSB content is likely to become harder to discover on connected devices.