Sky has been told that it may lose its exclusive rights deals with 6 film companies which allows it to show new films first to introduce more competition and give consumers more choice.
This is, of course, what they said about directory enquiries. Before the replacement of the 192 service with 118 number, it cost 50p for a directory enquiries search and it was free from BT phone boxes. Now it’ll now cost you at least £1.75 assuming you can do the whole thing from start to finish in less than a minute.
It’s what they said about deregulating the energy markets and all this competition has led to is increasing bills and consumers being ripped off.
At the moment you have a choice if you want to watch new films when they’re released for TV broadcasting – you can subscribe to Sky Movies or use Sky Box Office or you can wait a few months until they end up on one of the network channels. Ok, you have no choice but to pay Sky for the privilege of watching the film but you’re not tied into subscribing to Sky TV – you can get Sky Movies on Virgin Media and BT Vision.
The truth is, it’s not consumers that need more choice, it’s Sky’s competitors. More competition often does mean better value for consumers but in this case it means more unnecessary cost and less choice for consumers. If Sky, Virgin and BT are all allowed to “share” the exclusive deals then consumers who want to watch all new films as soon as they’re released for TV viewing would have to subscribe to Sky, Virgin and BT Vision. If nobody is allowed to sign exclusive deals with film companies then the film companies lose the money they get from Sky which means they have less money to spend on making and distributing films.