BBC & Sky to end satellite dispute?



The BBC and British Sky Broadcasting ( BSkyB ) will today try to resolve differences prompted by the corporation's decision to offer its digital services to satellite viewers without a Sky encryption card. Managers from BSkyB, 35.4 per cent owned by News Corp of the US, are due to meet BBC counterparts to clarify their plans to abandon a conditional access contract with the pay-TV company. Mr Dyke said the move would increase the coverage of BBC digital services from 75 per cent to 100 per cent of British households. Today's meeting follows behind-the-scenes claims and counter-claims by both the BBC and BSkyB, which have privately accused each other of misleading comments over the unexpected move. Nevertheless, officials are expected to discuss the BBC's presence on Sky's electronic programme guide (EPG), used by subscribers to select some channels available by digital satellite. The BBC faces a potential conflict with RTE, the main television broadcaster in Ireland, because unencrypted services could share the same slot on the EPG. Broadcasters pay £27,000 per year per channel for EPG slots, according to the BBC.


Regular Member
Mar 13, 2003
Reaction score
Visit site
Perhaps a radical solution would be for SKY to allow consumers to select their own channel order in the form of a favourites list which is available on any free to air receiver.
Of course some consumers seem nervous of any choice and like SKY to decide everything for them. So perhaps this facility should be optional.
On the other hand, in the true spirit of the "free" market perhaps Sky could auction off prime positions in the EPG to the highest bidder.