BSkyB Lodges Last-Ditch Objection Over BBC’s YouView | Ofcom, OFT Likely To Investigate

1 min read

YouView LogoSurprise, surprise. In the week that regulators were set to decide whether to launch an investigation into YouView, BSkyB launches a formal complaint. There is no reason for the timing, and it’s clearly only been done at the last minute in order to delay the launch.


YouView is the recently-appointed name for what was conceived as Project Canvas. In turn, Project Canvas was born out of the remnants of Project Kangaroo, which was shuttered by the Competition Commission after objections from BSkyB and Virgin Media.

YouView is a new connected-TV platform backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, TalkTalk, BT, Arqiva, and Channel 5, and supported by at least 40 more organizations. All of which want a piece of the living room IPTV pie.

BSkyB Object… Late

Just a few days before Ofcom was set to rule whether it would be launching an investigation into YouView, BSkyB lodged a complaint. The Rupert Murdoch-owned satellite television company claims YouView threatens competition in the nascent IPTV market.

Ofcom will now have to reconsider taking the new evidence into consideration. And with Sky’s complaint added to those by several other companies and organizations, including Virgin Media, an investigation seems likely.

YouView Responds

YouView CEO Richard Halton responded to the last-ditch objection by stating:

“While we welcome justifiable scrutiny, the timing of this submission is clearly designed to extend the regulatory process in pursuit of commercial self-interest rather than the public interest. We remain committed to creating a viable, subscription-free alternative to meet consumer needs and stimulate the market.”

“YouView will create competition among TV platforms and increase the range and number of opportunities for content providers and device manufacturers. We encourage Ofcom to take this wider view as they continue their consideration.”

I completely agree with Halton’s logical summation of the facts in this case. BSkyB has acted cynically to try and delay the process, and consequently the eventual release of YouView.

But those involved with YouView are confident they have created a platform with enough flexibility to ensure they can respond to any criticisms without canning the whole project.


I don’t think BSkyB’s objection has any basis in fact. YouView is inclusive rather than exclusive and Sky’s only real problem with it is that it’s free to viewers. If YouView were to take off then it’s likely to increase cord-cutting in the U.K. Which will obviously harm Sky’s business. But that surely means it’s competitive rather than anti-competitive.

[Via The Guardian]