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The BBC to re-encrypt its services!! (Read 2773 times)
crossdynamite
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The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Aug 10th, 2003, 3:23am
 
The BBC's plans to screen the first Harry Potter film and other blockbuster movies are under a cloud because of a potentially damaging row with the big Hollywood studios.  
 
Warner Bros, Universal and 20th Century Fox have called in their lawyers to sort out a dispute that has arisen from the BBC's decision to broadcast its channels unencrypted: the studios are concerned that their films can now be picked up in countries around Europe in which the corporation does not own the relevant rights.
 
Relations between the BBC and some of the studios are said to have broken down because of the row, which could also hit the negotiations over the third series of 24.
 
Earlier this year, the BBC ended its conditional access deal with BSkyB, which ensured that its output could only be seen by holders of viewing cards in Britain. The BBC moved its channels to a new satellite, which it claimed had a more accurate "footprint" over Britain, meaning it no longer needed to scramble its signals to stop them from leaking to mainland Europe.
 
But the studios fear BBC channels can now be seen all around Europe, and some want the corporation to re-encrypt its services. At the least, contracts will have to be redrawn and the studios placated.
 
If the row is not resolved, the studios could - in theory - stop the BBC showing their films: the corporation wants to make Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone the centrepiece of a ratings-busting Christmas schedule.  
 
One executive at a rival broadcaster said: "The BBC are up against the wall on this one. I really don't see any way out of it for them, other than going back to some sort of conditional-access deal. It's not just films; it's right across the board: sport, drama, imports, the lot."
 
A Warner source said: "The BBC came to us and told us they were going to do this. We are waiting to assess the impact."
 
The source said that Warner, which makes the Harry Potter movies, had not yet threatened to pull the films.  
 
In March the BBC director general, Greg Dyke, trumpeted his split from BSkyB's encryption service as a triumph that would save the BBC 85m over five years; since then, the move has been dogged with problems. ITV, Channel 4 and Five are now unavailable to satellite viewers who do not have a subscription to BSkyB; the corporation has also been forced to sign a new agreement with BSkyB to carry all of its regional services, meaning the move may not save as much as originally envisaged.
 
Now, some Hollywood studios are said to have suspended relations with the BBC, and are talking only through lawyers. The Motion Picture Association, Hollywood's lobbying arm, has also taken up the studios' case. A BBC spokeswoman said: "Some negotiations are on hold. But it would be untrue to say that nothing is moving forward. It's more difficult with some than others. They are concerned about overspill from the new satellite; we are confident that the overspill is a lot less than it was before."
 
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So are Hollywood studios and others saying that the many FTA satellite channels showing movies in English own the relevant rights for each country that can pick the channels up?
 
There is one channel on 26.0E: Channel 2 (MBC 2) that shows English movies 24 hours a day... and there sister channel: MBC has showed (this year): The Titanic and Ghost, in English!
 
I do remember earlier this year, the movie Die Hard 2... (Think it was 2) was showing FTA on MBC 2, the same week it was on S** Movies. The only difference being: you had to watch with Arabic subtitles on MBC 2.
 
I don't think people mind on screen subtitles, as long as the channel is free!
 
There are many other FTA channels with English programs, on 26.0E and other satellites too. You can't tell me that (all) these channels have the rights to show its programs across Europe.
 
Before the BBC went FTA, the only FTA (UK) channels we had were filled with teleshopping, so they could be FTA or were just shopping or travel channels.
 
Other country such as Germany get there (main) channels for free - and look at all the US programs on them - but dubbed in German!
 
If you take a look at satellite TV in Europe, the UK is the only country that upon till now had not made its main channels FTA. And now that the BBC have, we want other English channels like ITV, to go FTA!
 
CD
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bigglesk
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #1 - Aug 10th, 2003, 8:18am
 
The BBC will not use an encryption system as the cost would be prohibitive. and go against their aim for all UK residents to have access to their chan's; that is why they have promoted "Freeview" and made their sat chan's FTA...............In the long term, it could affect what programmes they actually show.....Only time will tell. (Chan 5 is still FTA on 16E hope it continues)
 
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clivew
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #2 - Aug 10th, 2003, 10:50am
 
Surely the providers are the ones who have to rethink their payment stratergies!!
They must move with changes in technology.
What they are trying to protect is a multimarket of twenty companies across,in this instance Europe,each of whom have to stump up separate,and therefore double or triple,payments for their products.
They should negoiate one fee across europe with the national channels or the various groupings of commercial providers.
Government should tell them strongly that not to do so is a breach of fair competive practices a monopoly or what ever I,m confident trading law they are breaking!!
How can you differentiate Belgium,Luxembourg and north east France for payment purposes.
Given the recent devolution they will want separate payments for Wales,Scotland and NI in addition to England.
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BeatO
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #3 - Aug 13th, 2003, 9:42pm
 
@cd, m8s,
 
I think the german market with it's free TV stations, state-owned (ARD/ZDF) and private (RTL*/PRO7/SAT1), are FTA for various reasons evolved in many years. For one, the competition with the early adoption of private stations, meaning not only one other provider like BBC vs BSB (which to my knowledge was that way as it started, please correct me if I'm wrong), is one reason.  
 
The next one is, that as it's already written above, these movies, imported series and shows are all dubbed in german.  
 
Another reason for FTA is that in term off viewers, Germany is far the biggest part of german speaking Europe, Switzerland and Austria are a lot smaller.  
 
Another reason for the FTA is also the "distribution technology" used, don't know about A but CH has a very high penetration of cable TV and is located right beside Germany. So the cable providers can receive all the german channels FTA using terestrial reception and feed these signals into the cable networks. There is an association of cable companies, and they are interconnected, meaning not all of them have to get the channels terestrial but can get it through this network, even if not located at the border to Germany with no reception possibility. The same is possible for the signals from Italy and France, which is also done.  
 
Further more, the time new films are shown FTA is delayed quite a bit comparing to Video/DVD/PayTV release. On the other hand, the mentioned Harry Potter is now running on PW, so it most probably ran in BSB already, I quess. This means BBC would be delayed anyway on chistmas. Beside the delay, the private FTA  channels show the blockbuster movies most of the time somewhat earlier than the state owned ones, but mixed with A LOT OF commercials, so that it's a pain to watch a move!
 
Another reason might be, that a lot of people not natively English speaking understand it very well, esp. some northern europe countries and also in Switzerland, and therefore are interested in the original version of the movies. And this original version is not shown on FTA here in the german speaking part of Europe, only some of them are show on PayTV like PW or you've got to go out and get the DVD (most continental-europe DVDs have German and English soundtrack on them). This means more money for the studios!
 
Another fact is, that the CH and A state owned TV channels don't send FTA over SAT, and you guess it, you can only get a viewing card as a resident of the country or for the swiss television, if you pay an additional fee if you're not a resident (further limitations might apply, not sure anymore). ORF (state owned channel from A) is thinking about lifting encryption on it's second channel, ORF2, but still holds the option to eighter make a different programming for SAT distribution if they are showing some specific content (sports events as example Champions League) or encrypt that part of it, for right reasons of course.
 
So perhaps this clears it up somehow.
 
Oh yes, just jumped to my mind, another storry about "original english soundtrack", for Switzerland I remember the details, but Germany was similar, just somewhat earlier. Until about a year ago, any DVD shop could directly import DVDs from the states (code 1) and sell them here. Perfectly legal, no black copy or anything. With the pressure of the movie companies the new copyright legislation concerning artwork/movies/... now reads, that this material might only be directly imported and resold if the license holding company has given explicit permission for it. That's a joke, they will never do that, that's why the invented the region-coding in the first place.Sad So the only choice you've got is to order directly with amazon.com if you really like the original english and in some cases uncensorred version.
 
Hmmm, quite long this message, but I hope I could give the interessted reader some more information about the german TV/movie market.
 
Any comments or additions?
 
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bigglesk
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #4 - Aug 13th, 2003, 9:58pm
 
We pay a TV licence, do they pay for one in other parts of europe?......like Germany and Scandinavia etc. ?????
 
I know that my question deviates a bit, but I would like to know. If so.....How much?
 
 
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sparky1
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #5 - Aug 13th, 2003, 10:01pm
 
too much m8 for the crap we have to put up with
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crossdynamite
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #6 - Aug 13th, 2003, 10:38pm
 
@BeatO
 
Yes all movies, imported series and shows are all dubbed in German on the German FTA channels... But as I also said, many channels show English programs in English, and Channel 2 (MBC 2) at 26.E show all movies, imported series and shows in English!
 
From my first post: Relations between the BBC and some of the studios are said to have broken down because of the row, which could also hit the negotiations over the third series of 24.
 
Now the series 24 is also shown on MBC 2, so why can't the BBC also show it?
 
If you take a look at all Euro satellite channels, other countries get the main channels free.. I.e. all the ones they pay each month for, and these we get with our cards are subscription channels where they have the choice if they went to subscribe. If they just want there main channels in Digital (on satellite), they can get them for free, once they have paid for there satellite box and dish...
 
There is one way round the BBC staying FTA.... re-encrypt in NDS, and force S** to make a CI cam, so we can get a FTA S** card and then get the BBC channels along with ITV 1, Channel 4 and Five on our non S** satellite box.
 
CD
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BeatO
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #7 - Aug 14th, 2003, 7:56pm
 
@bigglesk,
I can only give you the figures for Switzerland, I've calculated them for one year. For TV reception you've to pay CHF 281.40 and for radio reception it's CHF 169.00 (both together would be around 200). This is per household. Company usage not included. And it doesn't depend on which channels you watch or listen too, even if you never "use" one of the public broadcasters channels, if you use a TV or radio you've got to pay the fee. But this is probably the same as in most other countries too.
 
@cd, yes, we can get a "free" card for the encrypted state channels (we've to pay a one time handling fee of CHF 50) and it will work as long as one pays the normal TV fee, as written above.
 
It's clear that not all broadcasters seem to have the same rules imposed on them from the studios. For whatever reason this is  ???  
I think in this special case it might be that the studios are worried because of the popularity of BBC ?  
I mean, the argumentation of BBC that the "spill" was even bigger before changing to 2D could well be. I mean, how many cards are used on the mainland Europe? Probably even more than the BSB-subscriptions exported. So with the focus 2D has, this might be reduced geographically and the card gets useless for them, but on the other hand some new viewers might get it now as they don't have a card.  
 
I think we'll have to wait and see what happens, nothing has been decided yet. I don't think the BBC people didn't think about the current situation in advance.
 
For your solution part, why use NDS to encrypt it again? It could be some other system as well, in combination with NBS in symulcrypt. I mean Ir and Via are quite common. But the again, the NDS fees are the expensive parts of the  conditional access deal which BBC wanted to get out of, so this doesn't seem to be a solution eighter.  
 
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eccles
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #8 - Aug 20th, 2003, 9:32pm
 
The BBC already encrypt in viaccess on HB 13E. Presumably this is much cheaper than NDS so it would seem logical to encrypt the national channels in that system.
I agree that NDS cams should be compulsorily made available. Also giving away boxes that are locked to a single system is anticompetitive and the practice should be banned.
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crossdynamite
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Re: The BBC to re-encrypt its services!!
Reply #9 - Aug 20th, 2003, 11:20pm
 
The BBC should stay FREE but It seams that programs the BBC want to show they can't... Ie take tonights England football:
 
It was shown FTA on Diema 2 (mpeg) and Kanal D (pal) on channels that can be picked up across Europe.
 
On September 10, England v Liechtenstein is being shown on BBC 1, but the BBC might not be allowed shown it on satellite as it will be FTA and be picked up across Europe, just like tonights mach undecided
 
I can't understand why other FTA channels can show England free, when BBC 1 might not be able to show it's own country for free undecided
 
CD
 
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