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Pay-TV providers like Sky and Virgin Media could be forced to more heavily promote on-demand content from public service broadcasters like the BBC and Channel 4 on their platforms. The rule was suggested as an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that's currently being discussed by MPs in Parliament.

The suggestion is a reaction to our changing viewing habits. While Ofcom ensures that terrestrial channels are given pride of place in the EPG (electronic programme guide), there are no rules governing on-demand content. And as should be obvious, we're watching more and more on-demand nowadays.

This rule would aim to stop the BBC, ITV et al being buried away somewhere in the on-demand menu. This would help said channels get more viewers, and hence increase their advertising revenue (or in the Beeb's case, meet targets set out in the Royal Charter).

Which would be good news for public service broadcasters, but not so for Sky and Virgin.

We should know soon whether the amendment makes it into the Digital Economy Bill. Who knows, iPlayer could soon be sitting pretty on your Virgin Media TiVo box.

Source: UK Parliament

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