Dyke kicks Sky into touch

A great rift has opened up between the BBC and Sky and more than a decade of servitude is over. The BBC will, from the end of May, broadcast its channels unencrypted on a new Astra Satellite with a smaller, UK-only, footprint.

Most people, including me, don’t really understand what this means (do I have to get a new dish? Will I continue to get the BBC channels with my Sky subscription? Will my Sky subscription be cheaper?) so there hasn’t been much dancing in the street yet but the BBC is now essentially free to build its own multichannel, free-to-air digital TV service with close to 100% UK reach (instead of the approximately 70% provided by Freeview’s compromised terrestrial network). Emily Bell in The Guardian and Richard Tait in The FT both focus on Greg Dyke’s audacity and on Sky’s limited room for manoeuvre in constructing a response. Tait goes into more detail on the new arrangements but you may need an FT.com subscription to see his article.

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