Gigantic megacorp Sky claims Web TV service YouView will 'restrict choice'

If there's a 'y' in the day, you can be sure someone at Sky is getting cross about some aspect of YouView. It's Thursday, so the vast corporation is claiming the service will harm competition.

Ian Morris
2 min read

Sky has made a complaint about the upcoming new UK Internet TV service YouView -- formerly Project Canvas -- to the regulator Ofcom. Like Virgin Media, it claims the service will restrict consumer choice and stifle competition. At least it makes a change from the megacorp's usual whinging about the BBC's involvement.

It seems odd that Sky would claim YouView will damage consumer choice. Correct us if we're wrong, but there's few things more likely to restrict consumer choice than actually stopping a service from launching. We find the competition argument illogical too, considering Sky has its own Sky Playerservice to deliver online video, and is planning new services -- no doubt including catch-up for its programming -- for the future.

YouView responded to the complaint, saying, "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."

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

It seems unlikely Ofcom will move to block YouView now, but it could potentially impose some ludicrous restrictions on the service that might make it less attractive for consumers. We think a catch-up service designed for the Internet age is a worthy development, whereas Sky seems to be thinking about its bottom line more than what's best for the British public.

Are you excited about YouView? How do you feel about its potential to restrict the services offered by other broadcasters? We have a feeling most people would welcome this innovation in the TV market, even if it does upset a few gigantic companies in the process. Let us know below, or via our Facebook wall.