Payview is coming
Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV
If you thought you were buying a Freeview box to watch lots of free-to-view channels, Sky wants you to think again.
As we reported when Ofcom changed the rules, Freeview will start becoming payview.
Sky, not content with owning nearly 20% of ITV is to withdraw Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Three from Freeview and replace them with pay TV services
Sky isn't going to use TopUpTV, however, as rival Sentena Sports is, but has hit on a great new scheme: MPEG4
By using a new compression system - MPEG4 - it hopes to carry six subscription channels including Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Sky One.
But operating in this transmission mode has not been approved by Ofcom, and any Sky Payview box will not be able to decode TopUpTV channels, so this will be an effective way to wreak Sentena Sports.
But there is still the possibility that Ofcom will reject the proposed changes - but perhaps not soon enough to save Sentena Sports from collapse.
Is this Sky's dirtyest move since it 'merged' with BSB?
See also: Freeview becomes Payview?