Saturday, June 27, 2009

OFCOM Bears Its Teeth

Is the UK television landscape finally changing for the better ? This blog has long argued that the duopoly of the BBC and BSkyB is stifling development, investment and innovation in the media industry.

OFCOM is seriously bearing its teeth with its proposal to force BSkyB to make premium events available to other parties. This is a serious shot across the bow of the UK's dominant commercial broadcast service which resulted in a rapid response from the Murdoch dominated broadcaster. You have to have some sympathy with BSkyB since they have made the big investments, but the demise of Setanta was, perhaps, the final straw.

However, the response of wannabe broadcaster BT is, coming from a company that has turned being a monopoly in a 'free' market, somewhat hypocritical.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the BBC has been equally trenchant in defending its licence against what it terms 'erosion'. The reality is that the BBC horribly skew markets in so many areas that it has throttled all the life out of many categories of media, especially local media and is now seeing the wider media turning on it.

A balance between a free market and a regulated market is particularly difficult in the media industry, but it seems that we might be about to see some change for the better in UK media.


No comments: