BBC/BSkyB Dispute UPDATE:

N

net1

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#1
The BBC today claimed that its regional channels could appear on Sky's on-screen programme guide next to adult channels such as Playboy TV if a row between the corporation and BSkyB is not resolved.

According to the BBC, BSkyB has threatened to relegate BBC One and BBC Two to slots 214 and 215 on Sky's electronic programme guide (EPG), which satellite viewers must use to find and tune channels.

The moves follows a decision by the BBC not to pay Sky to encrypt its channels.

Under the new system BBC One and BBC Two would be sandwiched between Fashion TV and Showcase.

Viewers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would have to scroll through hundreds of channels to find their local versions because they would be listed in the 900s next to adult channels.

Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum today, the BBC strategy director, Carolyn Fairbairn, claimed that if Sky was allowed to demote the channels it could effectively signal the slow death of public service broadcasting.

"If we allow these programmes to be buried deep within the electronic programme guide, people won't watch them," she said.

"Effectively we are willing the end of public service channels without willing the means," she added.

The BBC director general, Greg Dyke, announced last month that the corporation would stop paying BSkyB to encrypt its signals and broadcast on its own satellite space, claiming it would save £85 million over five years.

Carolyn Fairbairn appealed to the government to amend the communications bill to define the term "due prominence" and guarantee public service broadcasters the top slots on the programme guide.

The issue is currently being investigated by the Independent Television Commission
 
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#2
That was an interesting post, but it doesn't give me any clues as to whether after May 30 those of us well out of the "official" footprint will be able to receive BBC (including Radio??) with or without a Sky subscription.

Any further information on this would be very welcome.

Cheers
 

meatball

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#5
bbc on 214 ?

why do people care if bbc moves to 214, here in ireland bbc is 214 on epg, have people forgot how to use the fav, blue button ?

meatball.
 

methos_de

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#6
exactly. I dont know what all the fuss is about. I watch E4 all the time and thats also on a stupid no. I dont really think BBC1 & 2 really have to worry where they are. As soon as the people know where they are they can be saved off as faves and theres no problem. The channels are just too established to really have to worry where they are.
I just hope I can still receive them later here in Germany.

Methos.
 

2old4this

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#8
Well this all brings me back to my favourite hobby-horse: why is Sky allowed to impose a fixed EPG at all?

If the current effort and lobbying were redirected into forcing Sky to provide the same facility as every other tuning device ever produced (i.e. user-definable channel positions) then the whole problem would be solved...

It won't bother me too much if BBC goes to channel 214 since it will be FTA and therfore finally receivable on my main satellite receiver. On that I can place it wherever I want in the channel list.

@meatball: the problem with the favourite button is that due to yet another insidious Murdoch software cripple it is still only possible to define 20 favourites. Mine were used up long ago. Here again, I can't think of any other digital receiver with such a primitive favourite facility. It is exactly the combination of a huge fixed channel list, and a tiny favourites facility that makes the positioning near the "top" such a powerful (and money-spinning) option. Which is why the independent advisors and lobbyists should be tackling these deliberate software design limitations. Actually, I wonder whether any of them even realise that there's another way of doing things. Perhaps Sky's digibox is the only receiver they've ever seen. Perhaps they simply assume there's some fundamental technical reason for having a fixed EPG.

2old
 

methos_de

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#9
@2old yeah your right 20 is too few. I dont label every favourite I just set it at the beginning of every block of good channels. Once Ive reached a good one I can scroll further using the normal up and down channels, once a crap one comes again I hit the blue and spring a few channels.

Methos.
 
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