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Sky Criticises BBC For On-Demand TV Restrictions

ConsumerNews
, 22 Feb 2011News

UK pay-TV giant Sky has said that around 3.5 million of its subscribers will not be able to access the BBC's upcoming on-demand services.

Sky said that the BBC Trust's plans for on-demand syndication were 'unnecessarily restrictive'. The BBC Trust's plans for the service won't allow rivals to offer its on-demand content if they don't have BBC aggregation products like the iPlayer.

The company said that the restrictions don't allow 3.5 million households with Sky set-top boxes to access YouView content.

“The Trust’s proposals appear incompatible with the BBC’s own YouView project, are inconsistent with the approach taken for on-demand public service content other than full-length TV programmes, allow existing ‘disaggregated products’ to co-exist indefinitely and cost more than alternative solutions,” the company commented on the Trust's plans.

“The knowing exclusion of millions of existing licence fee payers is one of a number of perverse outcomes,” they added, “the Trust has not acted in the public interest in arriving at its draft syndication policy.”

Sky's solution would be to have a hybrid approach which they suggest would be better value for customers by reducing content distribution costs and the number of versions required by the iPlayer. Fortunately for viewers the iPlayer runs on most non-Sky hardware.

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