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Ofcom gives YouView the go-ahead, despite Sky complaint

Harm will need to outweigh benefits

Ofcom has given YouView, the BBC-backed TV-on-demand service, the go-ahead despite complaints lodged by Sky.

The venture, which was formerly known as Project Canvas, will see internet-connected set-top boxes offering seven days worth of catch-up TV, along with free archive shows, apps and widgets. TV providers signed up to take part include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

Sky was thought to have raised concerns over the effect YouView will have on competition. In particular that members of the project will be unlikely to create innovative TV on demand services themselves.

"We submitted some thoughts jointly to Ofcom and the OFT yesterday. We are not making our submission public," Sky told The Telegraph at the time.

However, Ofcom said it is likely YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers and any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits.

"Whether or not YouView and its partners will harm competition in the ways alleged will depend upon how this emerging market develops and how they act, particularly in relation to providing access to content and issuing technical standards," Ofcom said.

"IPTV is still an emerging sector, and the impact of YouView on the market will not be known with any confidence for some time

Sky also submitted its concerns to the Office of Fair Trading, although the OFT has not yet commented on the complaint.

See also: BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Five launch YouView digital TV


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