Sat-UK: Report #11 - 1.2.97

Report from the Sat-UK mailing list:
Report #11


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And now the news:

Who would have thought it possible? The BBC and Sky together???
Yesterday, all applications for the right to broadcast DTT (Digital
Terrestrial Television) in the UK had to be given in. Only two
applicants applied for the rights to DTT. One was a consortium of
American cable company CableTel and Welsh broadcasters S4C. The other
was a consortium of BSkyB, ITV broadcasters Granada and Carlton, and the
BBC - yes! That's right - Sky, ITV and the BBC in a joint venture? Hell
has frozen over.
As all Brits and many Europeans will know, ITV and BBC are direct
competitors in the terrestrial TV market. Sky and BBC are direct
competitors in the "pay-TV" market (BBC is not actually free TV - they
get some of the money from the TV licence costs). Recently, Sky and ITV
drew closer in the creation of GSkyB - the Granada satellite channels.
Now it seems the war might be coming to an end...
If successful, the new company will be named BDB - British Digital
Broadcasting. It will include fifteen different channels, of which we
know: two will be Sky channels, four from Granada, two from Carlton and
three from the BBC. In addition, will be a news channel incorporating
Sky News. I happen to know a few of the channels on offer. Here are the
known channels to be broadcast, should the licence be granted:
- Sky 1
- Sky Movies/Movie Channel/Sports
- "Sky News" (with other news broadcasts from outside companies)
- Granada Good Life Channels
- Granada TV Shopping
- BBC One TV
From this, and other knowledge, it is possible to hypothesize as to what
the complete package will contain. Here's my prediction:
- Sky 1
- Sky Movies/Movie Channel/Sports
- "Sky News"
- Granada Good Life
- Granada TV Shopping
- Granada Talk TV
- Granada Plus/M&M
- BBC One TV
- BBC Two TV
- BBC World TV
- Carlton Select
- Carlton Food Network
Please note that this is NOT AT ALL definite. It hasn't even been hinted
at, let alone mentioned by any of the major companies - it is ONLY MY
PREDICTION. However, even this only accounts for 12 of the 15
channels... This would be a particularly good setup for Granada, whose
Talk TV and Good Life channels are currently flailing in the ratings
Whatever happens, noone will see it until Summer 1998 at least. DTT will
not be put into commercial action before that time. By that time, of
course, BSkyB will have been running their digital satellite service for
a whole year (if SES can actually get space somewhere for Astra 2A), so
digital TV will not be a new idea.
In any case, it would seem that Mr Murdoch has got the UK digital
revolution wrapped around his finger...

All contents 1997 Dominic Sedghi. All rights reserved.

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