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    Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

    This is a discussion on Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated | Media | theguardian.com European commission concerned 'territorial exclusivity' ...

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      Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

      Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated | Media | theguardian.com
      European commission concerned 'territorial exclusivity' agreements may affect consumers' rights to view content

      European competition regulators have launched an investigation into the exclusive deals pay-TV companies such as BSkyB have with the major Hollywood film studios.

      The European Commission said that it intends to look into the "restrictions" in agreements between film studios and pay-TV companies that grant "absolute territorial exclusivity".

      Joaquín Almunia, the EC vice president with responsibility for competition policy, said the investigation will focus on the biggest European broadcasters: BSkyB in the UK, Sky Italia in Italy, Vivendi's Canal+ in France, Sky Deutschland in Germany and DTS in Spain.

      The film studios that will be scrutinised are listed as Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, NBC Universal and Paramount.
      Murdoch's company owns Sky Italia, 39.1% of BSkyB and 54.5% of Sky Deutschland.

      "The investigation will allow us to look at the restrictions in agreements between film studios and pay-TV broadcasters that grant 'absolute territorial exclusivity' to these broadcasters," said Almunia in a statement. "I want to be clear on one point: we are not calling into question the possibility to grant licences on a territorial basis, or trying to oblige studios to sell rights on a pan-European basis."

      Almunia said that the focus will be on issues such as restrictions that may affect pay-TV subscribers who are blocked from accessing content when they travel, or move, to other EU states.

      "To illustrate: if you subscribe to a pay-TV service in Germany and you go to Italy for holidays, you may not be able to view the films offered by that service from your laptop during your holidays," explained Almunia. "Similarly, if I live in Belgium and want to subscribe to a Spanish pay-TV service, I may not be able to subscribe at all if there is absolute territorial exclusivity. Such provisions might constitute an infringement of EU antitrust rules."

      He pointed out that the European Court of Justice has ruled in relation to broadcasting football matches that absolute territorial exclusivity may be anti-competitive if it eliminates all competition between broadcasters.

      In 2012, BSkyB saw off a challenge to its monopoly over UK pay-TV fim rights – the company has exclusive deals with the "big six" Hollywood studios – after the Competition Commission ruled that video-on-demand rivals such as LoveFilm and Netflix provide a vibrant market for consumers.


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      Re: Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

      Another Euro bureaucrat trying to convert the EU into a Federation, with Brussels ruling over all.

      TomD


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      Re: Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

      As much as it is nice for those of us with Sky TV to have them all in one place, competition can be healthy in the right context.

      However I would not wish to be forced to have a contract with BSkyB, Netflix and LoveFilm in order to watch the latest films. That is just a total waste of money.

      It is a bit like the current situation with Football. If you really want to watch a premiership match you must subscribe to both Sky Sports and BT Sports at the moment or else you will miss that all important game for your team.

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      Re: Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

      Is it a RIGHT to be able view the latest crap Hollywood sends out?

      Surely the studios can choose who to sell their movies to?

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      Re: Hollywood deals with BSkyB and other pay-TV companies to be investigated

      Of course it is up to the studios who they can sell the films to.

      I think the point is that they are stifling the competition and preventing anyone else from developing a competing TV Broadcast company.

      Most of the European firms which are purchasing the films for Pay-TV are part owned by News International, which also owns Time Warner and HBO. So you could successfully argue that a lot of the money is being kept in-house and earning the share holders of News International even more money.

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