choice and introducing competition in the subscription-free satellite TV
Of the 588 responses to question 7, 92% consider that the proposal will have a beneficial
effect for consumers by increasing choice and introducing competition, while 8% disagree.
Will "Freesat" be beneficial to consumers?
The regional differences can again be observed in the responses to this question. In
Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales all respondents believe that ‘Freesat’ will be beneficial
"Freesat" will be beneficial for consumers0%
NorthernIrelandScotlandWalesEnglandOverallNolocationPercentages of respondent by location who agfrred that "Freesat" will be beneficial to consumers was: Northern Ireland: 100%; Scotland: 100%; Wales: 100%; England: 92%; Overall: 92%; No location: 82%.
Organisations responding to the consultation also recognise the benefits of the proposal,
with 93% of those who responded answering ‘yes’ to question 7.
"Freesat" will be beneficial for consumers50%
Sample of comments from respondents who believe the proposals will be
beneficial to consumers
“Yes. It will help also to drive down the cost of equipment”
“Yes as Sky is the only company offering such a service at present. Equipment can be costly
purchased through them. Some competition will help bring prices down.”
“It will definitely make the market known and accessible.”
“Indeed. If the market were left simply to consumer forces there would be far less choice
than we now have, and the "minority" programming we have would be non-existent.”
“Yes. Therefore the Consumer Expert Group has supported BBC involvement in a Freesat
proposition since our 2004 report "persuasion or compulsion? Consumers and analogue
“Yes. I think that providing competition - and an alternative - to the present satellite TV
suppliers is a very important point. Otherwise we are all, to varying extents, at their
“Yes. The only other options are commercial and the service is at the whim of the
companies. Sky freesat is good but could be withdrawn or the number of stations restricted
further for commercial reasons. Cable has only a subscription service.”
“Most certainly. The UK is in an almost unique situation compared with other European
countries being almost totally dependent upon Sky. In Germany and UK although there is a
Answering "yes" to the following proposition, "Freesat will be beneficial to consumers, were 93% of organisations, 93% of individuals, 92% overall and 83% categorised as "other".
sky service PVRs without subscription are readily available at a price around half those of UK
equivalents due in part to lack of competition.”
“Yes, increasing choice is something that really does need addressing.”
Sample of comments from respondents who believe the proposals will not be
beneficial to consumers
“Increasing choice is not part of the BBC’s remit as I see it. Wherever 'increased choice' has
been used, one eventually wins out, & not necessarily the best product (e.g. Betamax/VHS
Question 8 – Do you agree with the Trust's conclusion that whilst launching
“Freesat” will affect other participants in the market, it is not likely to lead to
exit from the market of existing participants or to create a barrier to future
innovation? (Any figures for the likely effect on other participants' revenues
would be particularly welcomed).
Of the 526 responses to question 8, 90% consider that the proposal is unlikely to lead to
market exit, while just 10% believe that it could.
Unlikely to lead to market exit?
This is also true for responses from organisations, with 90% considering market exit unlikely.
"Freesat is unlikely to lead to market exit." 90% agreed and 10% disagreed.
The proposal is unlikely to lead to market exit. 92% of individuals agreed, overall 90% agreed, 90% of organisations agreed and 83% categorised as "other" agreed.Sample of comments from respondents who believe the proposal is unlikely to
lead to market exit
“Absolutely true. I think it may well work the other way given the BBC's commitment to
public access and its own innovative leads in the past. I think it is more likely to encourage
innovation. The BBC Micro computer model is pertinent here.”
“I agree entirely that the launch will affect the market marginally but I do think it will not be
hugely disruptive, any player in the market that doesn’t foresee the involvement of the BBC
as a part of or wholly as a competitor doesn’t deserve to survive in the market.”
“I hope it would have an effect on others services, otherwise it would not be the success
that we all want it to be”
“If other broadcasters do welcome competition, they should have no problems with this.”
“Yes because the service will not have the same sports and movie content that create
revenue for Sky and cable.”
“Yes. Introduction of this service (given suitable HD content) will act to further develop the
HD receiver market for STBs, PVRs and iDTVs. Assuming an open platform approach for
Freesat this can only act in the interest of future innovation. It is very unlikely that BSkyB will
exit from the market for FreeSat from Sky. There will alwaysbe a market for consumers to
have an easy potential upgrade to pay TV services using an initial free-only offer.”
“Yes. I don't imagine it would impact on any other participant's subscription services, and it
wouldn't directly compete with Freeview (havingdifferent features) so wouldn't force it out
Sunday, 10 February 2008
BBC TRUST FREESAT CONCLUSION.
AS REPORTED BY THE BBC TRUST IN APRIL 2007.