As the UK's largest commercial TV network, ITV, mulls whether its forthcoming new drama and factual channel ITV3 should launch on free-to-air basis or as a pay-TV product, News Corporation-controlled satellite broadcaster BSkyB is battling for solus rights.
In a bid to stifle competition from the BBC's Freeview, Sky has offered several incentives to discourage ITV from choosing the former platform as its launch pad for the new channel this autumn. The phenomenal success of Freeview take-up provides serious competition for Sky.
• Meanwhile, after the glowing reports on free-to-air TV, [WAMN:21-Jun-04], a recent study by industry analysts Research and Markets paints a gloomier picture for the next decade.
The review suggests that the customer-friendly approach of other information technologies such as computers and mobile phones may spell disaster for free-to-air TV as it finds itself unable to compete.
"If internet-TV (video streaming) takes off, advertisers will not hesitate to jump ship and the programming sources for the broadcasters will slowly start to dry up" warns the study, which bases much of its opinion on the lack of new technology standards in US terrestrial TV.
Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK) and Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff