The CC has announced its provisional findings in its market investigation into movies in the pay-TV market.
On 4 August 2010, Ofcom, as part of its broader investigation into the pay-TV market, made a market investigation reference to the CC in relation to premium pay-TV movies. The CC has concluded that, due to Sky’s large subscriber base and its exclusive rights to the movies of the major Hollywood studios in the first subscription pay-TV window (the FSPTW), competitors are unable to successfully bid against Sky for the rights to show these movies. The CC concluded that due to the importance of offering pay-TV subscribers the option of viewing recent movies, Sky’s control over the FSPTW movie rights of the major studios (and over the movie channels incorporating this content) contributes to a lack of effective competition in the overall pay- TV retail market.
The CC proposes limiting the number of studios that Sky can licence exclusive FSPTW rights from, restricting the nature of those rights, and/or imposing a "must sell" obligation (requiring Sky to acquire on a wholesale basis and to offer its subscribers any movie channel containing FSPTW movie content created by a rival).
The deadline for comments on the CC’s provisional findings and proposed remedies is 16 September 2011. The CC’s final report is expected in February 2012.