The Great Debate UK
- Steven Barnett is professor of communications at the University of Westminster, and a writer and commentator on broadcasting issues. His first book, published in 1990, was on the relationship between television and sport. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Today is a historic day for British television: the first time in its brief six-year history that the supposedly uber powerful Ofcom has been prepared to flex its muscles to tackle the brute force of BSkyB’s overwhelming dominance in pay television.
It is an issue that has blighted the television industry for years, disadvantaged consumers, put companies out of business, and sent competitors, regulators and politicians running for cover.
Finally, after three years of exhaustive analysis, the regulator has had enough: BSkyB has been ordered to lower the prices at which it sells its premium rate channels to other platform operators such as Virgin and BT.
It is a quarter of a century since the ground-breaking privatisation of BT. Unfortunately, it may not be many more years before a reluctant government is forced to take the company back into state ownership.
- David Kuo is director at The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-
BT’s annual results were expected to be bad. It turns out that they weren’t just bad – they were awful.
Now, many of us were expecting massive losses, a slashing of dividends, the axing of jobs and a gaping hole in the company’s pension fund. And BT duly delivered on all fronts.