Sky attacks ITV over HD exclusivity

digidude

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Sky's chief operating officer Mike Darcey has criticised ITV for making its high definition channel available exclusively on Freesat.

"ITV want to have their cake and eat it," Darcey said after Freesat's launch yesterday.

"On the one hand, they are claiming to champion HD for all, while on the other, they are deliberately withholding free-to-air content from almost half a million Sky HD homes."

The channel is expected to launch soon and will only be available via ITV's red button interactive services on Freesat.

"This is neither in viewers' interests nor in keeping with ITV’s 'HD for all' posturing," said Darcey. "All in all, this is curious behaviour for a public service broadcaster."

Sky also yesterday questioned why licence fee proceeds should have been spent on Freesat, when its own non-subscription service, FreesatFromSky, has been on the market since 2004.

The standard product costs £150 including installation, though this does not provide access to HD channels. A Sky HD box, which retailers at a greater cost, offers BBC HD and Channel 4 HD with no subscription.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade and BBC director general Mark Thompson yesterday defended the need for Freesat.

Grade said: "If you go the Freesat (from Sky) route then you are not going to have people driving you mad selling you up to a subscription, encrypted service, because that is basically what happens today. And ITV HD will only be on Freesat."

Thompson added: "Sky have got a very successful platform where the overwhelming majority of people want pay services. Freesat is not intended to compete with the Sky satellite proposition... although Sky does have a free offering, it is currently expensive and the manufacturers are indicating that it will be more possible to switch to Freesat than they could in the past.

"Sky have a complicated market and what they are trying to get people to do is to subscribe to pay television, so to date, their free proposition was not exactly front of mind when they talk about Sky to the public."

Sky's critical reaction to Freesat appears contrary to more positive noises it made during the early stages of the service's development.
 

Rat

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arrr poor poor sky ! you gotta feel for them (NOT)

think of all those HD exclusives they have and the channels they pulled from Virgin customers ..... comeuppance time

cant have it all your own way all the time can ya ;)
 

Fano

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Nice to see BBC and ITV bring Sky down a peg or two.
Sky only care about one thing,profit,nothing else.
 

digidude

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i wonder how theyre gonna react when the PVR freesat receiver gets released, i feel thats going to be a HUGE turning point for satellite TV in the UK
 

digidude

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theyll up ITVs carriage fees if they refuse to make the channel broadcast in a way that sky HD boxes can use it, the rise in fees will be so great that ITV will have no choice but to give in
 

IANB

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@Didgidude will one of these free sat pvr boxes work in a flat with a comunial sky feed?
 

witchy

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Nice to see Sky getting a taste of their own medicine.
 

Rs2k_Rider

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theyll up ITVs carriage fees if they refuse to make the channel broadcast in a way that sky HD boxes can use it, the rise in fees will be so great that ITV will have no choice but to give in

Id piss my self laughing if sky tryed that and itv went balls then, take us off your platform LOL !
 

neorage

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ITV/BBC 10 - Sky 0

ide like to see bbc itv and all that just pull the channels from sky..

see where they stand..

heck we have to pay for a tv licence then if were with sky pay for the priviladge of watiching it..
 

witchy

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I'd like to see the lesser Sky channels making the move to freeview, things like Living TV, UK Gold etc :)

It might actually happen considering UKTV is owned in part by the BBC (50%)

:)
 

lincsat

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Sorry Guys, you can't criticise Sky for withholding channels from Virgin then approve of ITV doing exactly the same by withholding channels from Sky.

In ITV's case, as a PSB they get preferential rates and EPG location,even without an EPG slot, it should be possible to add the ITV HD channel to a SKY HD box - Why should the viewer have to pay an extra £150 to watch a "Free" PSB HD Channel?
 

pinkhelmets

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I agree with lincsat, although I personally think that ITV HD will become available on sky within the near future anyway.
This is just a way to create debate/advertising and for itv to have a dig back at sky. Its just a temporary way to say 'freesat will be best' and 'take that and stick it up ya windpipe sky'. I believe sky did get offended and pissed off, which is the whole point from the start, so a good move from ITV!! But it wont be a good move to keep the channel from sky forever, so i'm sure that isnt going to happen.
 

2tone

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They should hold it back or better still if sky want it so much then why not do a deal with them over chan 4 hd i bring you to this wee read that im sure alot of you already know did sky not do a deal with chan 4 hd so its only viewable on there system for years you could not even get chan 4 on there receiver if you did not have a card and its a terrestrial broadcaster sky at there work again why not just give up chan 4 hd

Channel 4 HD not on Freesat 18-04-08
Channel 4 HD will not be part of Freesat until some time after the service launches, sources have indicated. Channel 4 is still covered by a conditional access deal with Sky for all its services except Film4, however, it is seeking to reach an agreement so they could be broadcast free to air for Freesat.
However, a source said the high definition channel was on different terms with Sky and, though it would go free to air at some point, this would not be at an early stage
 

digidude

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BBC and ITV 'could' play it crafty here

ITV could say to sky, fk you, ITV HD is freesat exclusive, we're not going to change that. sky will then get arsey and say right then, your EPG fees etc are going up, ITV turn round and say 'shove your EPG up yer arse then'

now it'll be a sort of stale mate, ITV will be available to EVERYONE except sky, but sky will have used ITV as part of its drive for freesatfromsky customers so these customers will be losing out on something theyve paid for, as will all the subscribers, then as the channel is a public service broadcaster the government and ofcom etc will get involved, and force sky to give the EPG slot back to them, the BBC, 4 and FIVE will then be up in the air as ITV will be carried for free while theyre still paying

i think freesat SHOULD have something thats exclusive and not available on sky, and why shouldnt a PSB thats paid for by its advertisers choose to be the ones that supply that?
 

2tone

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BBC and ITV 'could' play it crafty here

ITV could say to sky, fk you, ITV HD is freesat exclusive, we're not going to change that. sky will then get arsey and say right then, your EPG fees etc are going up, ITV turn round and say 'shove your EPG up yer arse then'

now it'll be a sort of stale mate, ITV will be available to EVERYONE except sky, but sky will have used ITV as part of its drive for freesatfromsky customers so these customers will be losing out on something theyve paid for, as will all the subscribers, then as the channel is a public service broadcaster the government and ofcom etc will get involved, and force sky to give the EPG slot back to them, the BBC, 4 and FIVE will then be up in the air as ITV will be carried for free while theyre still paying

i think freesat SHOULD have something thats exclusive and not available on sky, and why shouldnt a PSB thats paid for by its advertisers choose to be the ones that supply that?


Now that dose sound good pmsl you would have to take your hat of to them if they did this
 

fezzy

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Hi Guys

Its crunch time for S*y and about time two, there could be big
changes on the way and must good for the consumer.

Fezzy
 

crazy

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If anything it dampens Virgins argument about Sky having a 17.9% stake in ITV being damaging.

It shows (or is part of masterplan!) that they have no power over ITV despite their large shareholding

Just a thought

Crazy
 

pinkhelmets

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Sky arent allowed the power to say, thats the whole point why virgin & itv said it should not be allowed to purchase the shares in the first place. Which is also why they have to sell them.

I think the situation is good in that ITV have the bargaining upperhand as in Digidudes post above. This is good in that it will force sky to listen and take notice. Doesnt mean sky will agree any deal, as we know from the experience with sky1/virgin. But in this case i think sky may get the message that there are other broadcasters in this country and its time to get real. Certainly this is the plan from ITV, to make sky take notice. Its not the plan to lose viewers or annoy the public, so I am sure they will be at the table ready for discussion.

As for freesat having exclusives, that may be likely.

@Digidude have you thought yet how they could make use of the ethernet port? It opens up all sorts of extras, even Pay-tv upgrades could be added, just like how cardshares work- signal by satellite, permissions by network. :)
 
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