Dispute between Rapture TV and Sky about EPG charges

20 March 2007

Dispute between: Rapture Television plc (“Rapture”) and British Sky Broadcasting Ltd (“Sky”)
Case opened: 10 November 2006
Case closed: 9 March 2007
Issue: Rapture asked Ofcom to resolve a dispute under Section 185(1) of the Communications Act 2003 between Rapture and Sky concerning the charges for Electronic Programme Guide (“EPG”) services that Sky provides to Rapture.
Relevant instrument: Ofcom resolved this dispute using its powers under Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Communications Act 2003.

Update note – 20 March 2007

A non-confidential version of the determination resolving this dispute issued by Ofcom on 9 March 2007, along with an updated version of the draft determination, has now been prepared and is available from the link below.

End of update note

On 9 March 2007 Ofcom issued a determination under sections 188 and 190 of the Communications Act 2003 resolving this dispute finding that Sky’s charges were fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

A non-confidential version of the determination is currently being prepared and will be published shortly.

Case Leader: Anthony Szynkaruk ( e-mail: anthony.szynkaruk@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00920/09/06

Update note - 13 February 2007

Ofcom has issued a draft determination in relation to this dispute on 12 February 2007. Please see the related item.

Ofcom will be consulting on its proposals until 5pm on 23 February 2007. Please send responses to:

Anthony Szynkaruk
Competition Group
Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London
SE1 9HA

or by email to anthony.szynkaruk@ofcom.org.uk.

End of update note

Text published when the case was opened

Dispute between Rapture TV and Sky about EPG charges

Dispute between: Rapture Television plc (“Rapture”) and British Sky Broadcasting Ltd (“Sky”)
Case opened: 10 November 2006
Issue: Rapture has asked Ofcom to resolve a dispute under Section 185(1) of the Communications Act 2003 between Rapture and Sky concerning the charges for Electronic Programme Guide (“EPG”) services that Sky provides to Rapture.
Relevant instrument: Ofcom intends to resolve this dispute using its powers under Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Communications Act 2003.

Rapture is a free-to-air digital satellite channel. Sky provides EPG services to Rapture which enable viewers to access Rapture through the EPG.

Sky is a regulated provider of EPG services.[(-1-)] As such, Sky is required to ensure that its terms, conditions and charges for technical platform services (TPS), including EPG services, are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

Rapture states that in 2005 it entered into negotiations with Sky for the provision of EPG services and that it failed to have any meaningful commercial negotiation with Sky regarding Sky’s charge for the provision of those services. In November 2005 Rapture and Sky entered into an agreement for the provision of EPG services by Sky to Rapture, at a charge which Rapture did not regard as fair, reasonable or non-discriminatory.

Scope of the dispute:
The scope of the dispute is to determine whether Sky’s charges to Rapture for the provision of EPG services between November 2005 and November 2006 are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

Procedural matters:
Guidance on the resolution of the dispute can be found in Ofcom's Guidelines for the handling of competition complaints, and complaints and disputes about breaches of conditions imposed under the EU Directives.

All representations on the scope of the dispute should be submitted to Ofcom by 22 November 2006.

Stakeholders interested in the outcome of this dispute should notify Ofcom by 22 November 2006, describing the relevance of the outcome of the dispute to their business. Stakeholders with relevant information and evidence in respect of this dispute should submit this to Ofcom by 6 December 2006.

Stakeholders who wish Ofcom to join them as parties to the dispute must provide evidence, as set out in Ofcom's Guidelines, that they are in dispute.

Case Leader: Anthony Szynkaruk ( e-mail:anthony.szynkaruk@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00920/09/06

Footnotes:

1.- See Continuation notice to a class of persons defined as the Licensee for the purposes of the provision of electronic programme guide services under paragraph 9 of Schedule 18 to the Communications Act 2003, 23 July 2003, published at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/oftel/publications/eu_directives/cont_notices/epg_class.pdf and Code of practice on Electronic Programme Guides, 26 July 2004, published at: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/EPGcode/#content.