Outlook: Real choice for pay-TV viewers

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The Independent Online
COUCH potatoes should applaud . After 18 months of investigation the Independent Television Commission has finally concluded that pay-television consumers are best served if they can choose which channels they want to subscribe to.

After all, it was always a nonsense that they be required to take a package that included the Weather Channel or the Carlton Food Network when all they really wanted was the football on Sky Sports. By introducing real choice the ITC has ensured that channels that no-one wants to watch will either have to smarten up their act or wither and die.

But what about BSkyB? Until now, the practice of bundling has allowed Rupert Murdoch's broadcaster to charge equal amounts for channels with such varying appeal as Sky One (which is popular) and Sky News (which is not). Yesterday's changes mean Sky will have to start charging the full whack for the popular channels. Will the viewers accept it? Watch this space.

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