Ofcom ruling on Sky Sports & Sky Movies

The results of an Ofcom investigation have been released today (reworded from the original statement on the Ofcom website):

– Sky Sports 1 and 2 must be available on all platforms (cable, terrestrial and IPTV) at a wholesale price set by Ofcom.

– Conditional approval to Sky and Arqiva’s request to offer pay TV services on digital terrestrial under the branding header of “Picnic”. This means Sky can replace their current Freeview channels with pay TV alternatives such as Sky Sports and Sky Movies.

– “Picnic” approval is subject to Sky implementing a wholesale deal under the supply obligation for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. If Sky decide to offer Sky Movies on digital terrestrial then those channels must also be offered to other digital terrestrial operators.

– The Competition Commission will address the sale and distribution of subscription video-on-demand premium movie rights.

– Sky must offer to wholesale high-definition versions of Sky Sports 1 and 2 – to be offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

Read more on the official Ofcom website.

This news means Sky Sports and Sky Movies could launch on Top Up TV and Sky Sports/Movies HD channels might be coming to Virgin Media.

Virgin Media changes coming 1st & 2nd April

The following changes will take place on Virgin Media on the 1st April:

E4 HD will launch on channel 145 (certain areas only)
Sci-Fi HD will launch on channel 165 (certain areas only)
Diva TV +1 will be removed from channel 165
Sci-Fi +1 will launch on channel 166
Discovery HD will launch on channel 214 (certain areas only)
GOD will launch on channel 279 (to replace God Europe)
Eurosport HD will launch on channel 522 (certain areas only)

The following changes will take place on Virgin Media on the 2nd April:

ITV1 HD will launch on channel 113 (certain areas only)
ITV Player (on demand) will start showing HD programmes

Sky Free Weekend Pass – 17th-18th April

Sky Free Weekend Pass will return for the weekend of 17th-18th April. If it’s going to work like it did when they had the previous free weekend, programming from various Sky channels will be shown on Sky 3 (which is available on Freeview, cable and Sky). More details will be announced at sky.com/freepass soon.

Today’s channel launches & closures

There have been several changes to the Virgin Media TV lineup today:

– ITV2 +1 has launched on channel 116 (in TV pack M)
– ITV3 +1 has launched on channel 174 (in TV pack M)
– ITV4 +1 has launched on channel 175 (in TV pack M)
– Quest has launched on channel 179 (in TV pack M)
– Cartoonito has launched on channel 706 (in TV pack L)
– Military History has launched on channel 236 (in TV pack XL)
– Cartoon Network Too has moved from channel 732 to channel 705
– Animal Planet +1 has been removed from channel 216
– History +1 has been removed from channel 235 in areas that used to have it
– Men & Motors has been removed from channel 280

Five HD will launch exclusively on Sky this July

Sky have announced Five HD will launch exclusively on Sky this July. Sky+ HD customers will be able to watch programming from Five in high definition for the first time. The official Sky press release says “Five HD will be available without additional subscription to viewers with Sky+HD boxes, a Sky viewing card and an HD-ready television set”. This news comes after it was announced that Five HD would no longer launch on Freeview this year.

Click here to read the full Sky press release.

Five HD scrapped on Freeview & slot released to BBC

It was previously announced last year that Five HD would launch on Freeview this year, but Ofcom have said it won’t be reserving an HD slot for Five on Freeview.

Five will have the opportunity to apply for an HD slot starting in 2012 – bidding will take place next year.

The spare slot has now been released for the BBC to use.

Read more at DTG.