Allow Foreign TV Channels on Sky

Margaret Thatcher saw the value of free speech and passed laws allowing UK citizens to easily watch foreign satellite TV channels. Freedom of speech and access to foreign sources helps democracy abroad. Yet in the UK the previous mixed-provider platform on Astra has been replaced with a system controlled by just one broadcaster, Sky. In theory non-UK channels can operate on the Sky platform, but in reality every channel is UK regulated by Ofcom or tacitly approved by Sky. It's market power makes direct competitors or types of channels Sky disapproves of unable to access the UK market. They can't get a transponder slot. If they do,m they can't get listed on the Sky EPG. If they do the cost is £25,000 or more per year.

This is an insurmountable hurdle for, say, a small French regional channel, that might want to broadcast to ex-patriot French working in Britain. A custom dish set-up is not an option for many people, particularly anyone in temporary accommodation.

The Sky platform has just 2 European channels, both bland state run "Best Of" packages. We should be strengthening our ties, not weakening them.

Not a Government issue? Not a freedom issue? Yes, Mr Moderator, it is. It will take Government action to force Sky (and Virgin, BT, etc) to carry european channels on request and at low cost, without UK regulation. (Dual regulation does not work).

Give the UK people freedom to hear the rest of the world, not just what big business wants us to hear.

Why is this idea important?

Margaret Thatcher saw the value of free speech and passed laws allowing UK citizens to easily watch foreign satellite TV channels. Freedom of speech and access to foreign sources helps democracy abroad. Yet in the UK the previous mixed-provider platform on Astra has been replaced with a system controlled by just one broadcaster, Sky. In theory non-UK channels can operate on the Sky platform, but in reality every channel is UK regulated by Ofcom or tacitly approved by Sky. It's market power makes direct competitors or types of channels Sky disapproves of unable to access the UK market. They can't get a transponder slot. If they do,m they can't get listed on the Sky EPG. If they do the cost is £25,000 or more per year.

This is an insurmountable hurdle for, say, a small French regional channel, that might want to broadcast to ex-patriot French working in Britain. A custom dish set-up is not an option for many people, particularly anyone in temporary accommodation.

The Sky platform has just 2 European channels, both bland state run "Best Of" packages. We should be strengthening our ties, not weakening them.

Not a Government issue? Not a freedom issue? Yes, Mr Moderator, it is. It will take Government action to force Sky (and Virgin, BT, etc) to carry european channels on request and at low cost, without UK regulation. (Dual regulation does not work).

Give the UK people freedom to hear the rest of the world, not just what big business wants us to hear.

Allow Anyone To Set Up A Local TV Station

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

Why is this idea important?

Allow any one to set up a local TV station.  Impose a low power limit and prevent operators having licences for more than one area, but just make it easier.  Don't force people to categorise their channels. Remove massive bureacratic and operational hurdles – it's all but impossible to operate a TV channel without a legal department. Remove scope for malicious complaints.

OK, impose a few conditions. Convicted criminals, sex shop onwers and people "convicted" of trading offences in civil courts should be required to undergo full "Appropriate Person" checks, and debtors, but let ordinary people set up channels.

Let people sub-lease capacity at different times of day without assuming liability for content.

Make it even easier by making Ofcom provide "TV station in a box" model kits, eg docs, retention of recordings, etc.

And keep local council out of it, there is enough bland well meaning rubbish out there.

R18 TV: Allow adults to see R18 porn on TV with safety controls

It is perfectly legal for adults in the UK to buy sexually explicit straight and gay DVDs and magazines. This is not to everyones taste and controls exist to stop people being offended by R18 films. This strength material is also easily available on the internet and mobile phones. Mediawatch UK, the ANTI porn campaign group estimates that 75% of adult males access internet porn, and that increasing numbers of women do. Clearly it is an important part of many peoples lives. Yet UK TV regulator Ofcom bans R18 explicit sex on TV, even late at night on clearly labelled lockable channels. This is a waste of Ofcom resources (they recently took 3 months to investigate a TV channel where the presenter was wearing the wrong colour knickers: Asian Babes,Bulletin 160). By banning this material Ofcom encourages people to access totally unregulated websites and foreign TV channels that permit acts not legal even in R18 films. By banning R18 explicit sex on TV Ofcom is contributing to marital tension and increasing the number of households that access material that could put children at risk. Since this material is totally legal in the UK if on DVD, in a magazine or on a UK website Ofcom is acting irrationally and against its own principles. Allow R18 strength explicit sex material on late night TV channels that can be locked out now.

Why is this idea important?

It is perfectly legal for adults in the UK to buy sexually explicit straight and gay DVDs and magazines. This is not to everyones taste and controls exist to stop people being offended by R18 films. This strength material is also easily available on the internet and mobile phones. Mediawatch UK, the ANTI porn campaign group estimates that 75% of adult males access internet porn, and that increasing numbers of women do. Clearly it is an important part of many peoples lives. Yet UK TV regulator Ofcom bans R18 explicit sex on TV, even late at night on clearly labelled lockable channels. This is a waste of Ofcom resources (they recently took 3 months to investigate a TV channel where the presenter was wearing the wrong colour knickers: Asian Babes,Bulletin 160). By banning this material Ofcom encourages people to access totally unregulated websites and foreign TV channels that permit acts not legal even in R18 films. By banning R18 explicit sex on TV Ofcom is contributing to marital tension and increasing the number of households that access material that could put children at risk. Since this material is totally legal in the UK if on DVD, in a magazine or on a UK website Ofcom is acting irrationally and against its own principles. Allow R18 strength explicit sex material on late night TV channels that can be locked out now.