Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Getting You're Retaliation In First

With the news of OFCOM's decision to regulate against BSkyB, with the regulator telling the pay TV channel to lower the price their competitors pay to show premium channels, most of the coverage has centred on OFCOM finally tackling the dominant player in the pay-TV market in this country.  Some of the coverage has also centred on sporting bodies concerns at revenue drying up, with, no hint of irony. the richest sporting organisation in the country, the English Premier League, leading the charge.

Their chief execitive, Richard Scudamore, criticised OFCOM's decision as
"ill-judged and disproportionate... [Ofcom's] proposed action will strip out competition for sports rights and hugely reduce the incentives of all bidders, Sky included, to invest in sports rights

"The effect will be to subsidise companies that have shown little appetite for investing in our content and fundamentally damage the investment models that have helped sport become a successful part of the UK economy and made sport so attractive to UK consumers"

Can't really remember the English Premier League clubs investing in great numbers in Brittish sport, maybe to the bank balances of superannuated footballers and their agents, but not in Brittish sport.

Of course none of the coverage has centred on the possable fate of OFCOM after the Westminster election.  Cameron has commited the Conservitives to scrapping the regulator, and also to curbing the powers of the BBC, the parties Shadow Culture and Media secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed as much in a series of newspaper columns last summer.  These pledges alone seem to have garnered the support of a company who would stand to gain from OFCOM's removal, and from any regulation placed on the BBC.  By sheer coincidence this company came out last September to support Cameron's Conservative's, ditching their public support for New Labour.

OFCOM, in tackling BSkyB and it's owner News International, probably felt it had nothing to lose.  It's a pity they have waited until now to do the right thing.

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