Ofcom consults on EPGs



UK regulator Ofcom has published a consultation paper: The Regulation of Electronic Programme Guides. The consultation seeks views on a proposed EPG code, as well as proposals to continue access regulations on the EPG provided by British Sky Broadcasting Limited (BSky:cool: for satellite television viewers.

Ofcom is required under the Communications Act 2003 to publish a Code which would apply to all EPG providers. The Code must explain how public service channels (the BBC's public services, ITV1, Channel 4, Five and S4C) should be given 'appropriate prominence' on each television service accessed through an EPG. As there are different ways this could be done, Ofcom will ask EPG providers (such as Sky, Freeview, NTL and Telewest) to make their own judgements. Ofcom will intervene only if there are complaints, or if it is not content with the way public service channels are displayed.

The consultation also proposes that BSkyB should continue the current arrangements under which it is required to offer listings on the Sky EPG to satellite channels whether or not they are part of a Sky package.