There may just be trouble ahead for BSkyB. Not to get too dramatic about it all, but ITV’s contract with the company runs out on Saturday, which could very well mean the end of Sky’s monopoly of the satellite market (ok, that is pretty dramatic, we admit). If ITV decides not to renegotiate its deal with Murdoch and opts to go unencrypted instead, you’ll be able to pick up digital ITV on satellite without paying Sky for the privilege. The BBC channels are already unencrypted, and if Channel 4 and Five follow suit, there will all five major channels, along with nearly 90 other free digital channels (that includes radio before you all start writing in) available free on satellite. Buy yourself a dish for about £60, set it up, and don’t pay a penny to Sky.
It’s not just Sky who’ll be put out if this happens – all those Freeview set top box manufacturers may feel slightly miffed as well. Still, the government wants us all digital within the next five years, and who are we to argue? We look forward to finding out the fate of ITV digital on Saturday.
Read Greg Dyke’s thoughts on the subject here.