ITV has dropped a complaint over the fees charged by BSkyB to encrypt and regionalise its programming for satellite viewers. The broadcaster lodged a formal complaint with Ofcom at the beginning of the year, but said yesterday it was back in negotiations with Sky.
ITV said it would not hesitate to re-submit the complaint if those negotiations broke down. Sky said it had always offered "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms".
ITV went to Ofcom in January after the breakdown in long-running negotiations over the encryption contract for ITV1 and ITV2. Last November, ITV agreed a two-month extension to its encryption and regionalised electronic programme guide (EPG) contract which was due to expire that month.
ITV is demanding a big cut in its £17m per-annum contract to encrypt ITV1 and ITV2. ITV3 has been broadcast 'in the clear' as an unencrypted channel since launching last November, an option ITV could pursue for ITV1 and ITV2, though that would require the approval of movie and sports rights holders.
Sky said it had argued throughout the dispute that its conditional access charges "are consistent with our regulatory obligations".
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