The Great Debate UK

Ofcom summons up courage to tackle BSkyB


steve_barnett- 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.