Over the course of the weekend, I starting reading an article on the BBC News site which I sent to myself to read later as it was very interesting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/03/ofcom_v_sky_the_epic_business.html
The article surrounds the topic of Sky (BSkyB) and their power over the British broadcasting and multimedia markets and the investigation into their tactics and control by Ofcom.
The article touches subjects I have blogged about previously and also a topic I am very passionate about. Hit the next link to see all of my posts in the media category and you will start to see the picture I am painting (http://richardjgreen.net/index.php/topics/media/).
Sky provide a lot of content but they also block and inhibit the delivery of new content. With Sky in the way, how are companies like Love Film or even the USAâ€™s very own Netflix going to get to market here?
Where are content on-demand and internet based video streaming services like the US enjoy for us Brits? How are products like Media Center in Windows XP, Vista and 7 ever going to get a good reception when the biggest player in the media industry doesnâ€™t allow for their product to work using Media Center because they breech a European ruling regarding open standards for television service providers? Only Freeview and Freesat are available via Media Center and the channel line-up leaves something to be desired. With beautiful products like HD HomeRun from Silicon Dust available we are severely missing out.
I really look forward to the report from Ofcom, supposedly to be released this week coming, however I wonder if it will throw as many punches as are really necessary? The author Robert Peston says,
So for BSkyB, Ofcom’s tanks are not on the lawn, but are actually bulldozing through the studios.
Unfortunately, I doubt it will get to this. Politicians are too scared to tackle the media giant in Rupert Murdochâ€™s pocket because of the potential political backlash he could cause, however what is most concerning are David Cameronâ€™s comments regarding the scaling back of Ofcom and their powers.
â€¦with a Conservative Government, Ofcom as we know it will cease to exist. Its remit will be restricted to its narrow technical and enforcement roles. It will no longer play a role in making policy.
Ofcom are critical to ensuring the growth and success of the British media markets, and couple this with the plans from the Toryâ€™s to release figures on BBC earnings and force the BBC to scale down some of the BBC products and offerings and you have to wonder if the Toryâ€™s actually want us to progress with the rest of the world. All they need is Mandy to join their ranks and were destined for doom. I donâ€™t have the time to look, but Iâ€™m sure a review of a list of the Tory sponsors would quickly reveal cash injection from Mr Murdoch. Coincidence? Perhaps not.