LONDON: Following last week's announcement by News Corporation's UK satellite TV monopoly BSkyB that it planned to replace its three free-to-air channels on digital satellite platform Freeview with a subscription-only service, British communications regulator Ofcom is to launch a public consultation on the proposal.

Ofcom is concerned at the possible detrimental impact the removal of Sky News, Sky Sports News and Sky Three might have on existing digital services. It will also consider the adverse effect of the move on overall consumer confidence in digital switchover - due for completion by 2012.

Sky, however, has yet to make a formal request to the regulator to launch a pay-TV service via Freeview.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff