Freeview becomes Payview?
Ofcom has decided that Freeview doesn't have to be free anymore.
When ITV Digital (nee ONdigital) failed and handed it's transmission multiplexes back to the regulator, the fully free-to-air platform Freeview won the right to transmit it's programming on these multiplexes.
Ofcom has now decided to remove the "free to air" requirement for these channels, saying that "the market will decide" and pointing out that there are many more free channels available now than there was when Freeview launched.
This is despite arguments put forward by Channel 4 that "Ofcom has not made the case for its removal."
It will come as no surprise that Top-Up TV said "it was disproportionate Ofcom to maintain a blanket ban on pay TV services on these three multiplexes".
The BBC held it was OK for Ofcom to remove the requirement, but only if "linked to a policy statement from Ofcom that the current number of FTA channels on these multiplexes should not be diminished".
ITV seemed to have no comment!
There are many interesting comments - dismissed by Ofcom - that can be viewed here.
Ofcom's decision can be read here.