Ofcom Sets Out Pay-TV Regulations For 2011 in Draft Annual Plan

The UK’s broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has laid out its goals for 2011 in its Draft Annual Plan.

Topping the agenda is the aim to ensure “fair and effective” competition between pay-TV providers, as well as providing competition and investment in the country’s superfast broadband networks.

The report drew attention to the watchdog’s instruction to BSkyB last year, ordering it to broadcast its channels Sky Sports 1 & 2 on other pay-TV platforms at set prices to encourage more competition in the market.

Ofcom said that they will continue to monitor the uptake of the new services and also investigate any consumer complaints that may arise during its implementation.

The watchdog also intends to streamline the broadcasting standard procedures, as well as consider new approaches to content regulation, taking into account technological developments such as IPTV.

“The pay-TV sector has delivered substantial benefits, with more than 12 million consumers now paying for a wider choice of content, and with a greater degree of control, than has historically been available from free-to-air television,” the draft reported.

Ofcom will release its full Annual Plan in March, when it will also outline its budget for the upcoming year.

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