BBC blow to Sky
Sunday 31 August 1997
Telewest Communications, the second biggest cable company, said it will show the BBC channel in place of Sky News - for which BSkyB has recently increased charges by 6.5 per cent. Telewest said it will drop Sky News from its schedule as soon as its contract with BSkyB allows.
Cable & Wireless Communications, the biggest, said it had signed with the BBC but would still show Sky News as well.
Analysts this weekend were unsure as to how this squared with Friday's announcement by CWC that it would sign an exclusive agreement with BSkyB to carry its programming. CWC refused to comment.
The CWC deal is expected to enhance BSkyB's position as the dominant supplier of premium and pay-per-view channels and is likely to offset the loss of the Sky News contracts.
Telewest Communications said it has also decided not to show National Geographic, the BSkyB channel that will replace Sky 2, an entertainment channel, from next week.
The cable companies' move is a landmark in their bid to reduce their dependence on BSkyB for programmes, which has led them to complain to regulators, including the Office of Fair Trading, the Independent Television Commission and the European Commission over the last few years.
"This is a very significant move on the cable companies' part and should create a closer alliance between them and the BBC and other independent programmers," said Dennis Garrison, managing director of Knowledge TV, a business and careers information channel. "Cable operators are demonstrating the right to carry any programming they like."
BSkyB declined to comment on the reports.
The European Commission is still investigating whether BSkyB's contracts with the cable companies are anti-competitive, while the ITC is expected to complete an investigation next month into whether BSkyB should be allowed to insist that cable companies buy channels in packages instead of individually.
The 24-hour news service, in which the BBC has invested pounds 26m will be available free of charge to the cable companies and other digital broadcasters.
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 4 The most powerful passports in the world
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake: How you can help victims of the Kathmandu disaster
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: The photo of a tree that proves the Tories have an image problem
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...