Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Competition Commission shears Kangaroo

The fine print around the decision against Kangaroo is today made public by the Competition Commission. Unfortunately, much of it has been excised and the majority of the appendices are totally meaningless.

Market shares for the supply of VOD? Forget about it.

There is one section, however, tucked away at the end of appendix I: barriers to entry and expansion.
...we do not agree that the lack of success [in content production] is because other broadcasters have chosen not to bid for or create valuable content. It is also important to note that as PSBs the parties are in a privileged position relative to other broadcasters. As PSBs they benefit from funding and access to large audience. Finally, even if a broadcaster were to become successful in bidding for or creating valuable content, it would [be] difficult to replicate the parties’ catalogue of UK TV content.
I'm entirely in favour of the back catalogues of these three PSBs being made available through VOD. The problem with Kangaroo is that there is absolutely no need for the archives to be offered through one distribution point controlled by the three of them. Why don't the PSBs independently make it available through a number of "retailers" on fair, non-discriminatory terms instead?

When the BBC, ITV and C4 start working with third parties in content distribution, they will reduce their costs and increase both revenue and value to viewers.