TVCatchup Declares Overall Victory With Broadcasters

TVCatchup Declares Overall Victory With Broadcasters…….

Having won all but one of the five complaints brought against them by three

of the broadcasters, ITV, Chan 4 and Chan 5, Justice Floyd referred a single
point of law to the European Court of Justice in November 2011 regarding the
online rebroadcaster, www.tvcatchup.com

The point of law concerned a technicality regarding whether or not TVCatchup
communicated broadcasts to what has been referred to as a “new public”,
being a group of people outside those to whom the broadcast was originally
intended. It has always been TVCatchup’s position that only people who live
in the very same region to which the original broadcast was intended, and
also holding a TV licence, were entitled to watch the very same programmes
on TVC as they would otherwise access via the broadcasters own separate web
sites or other online services.

This question does not affect the majority content of the popular website,
which boasts having close to 12M registered users for their free to use
service. Rights to carry such broadcasts were conferred in a previous
judgment in the long running case, and TVCatchup have dismissed any adverse
ruling decision regarding the carriage of such minor derivative channels as
being inconsequential.

“Barely 30% of our users view such content” said TVCatchup’s Director, Bruce
Pilley, “this would be more than compensated for by the addition of those
many channels who have asked to join us”, going on to state that they are in
advanced negotiations with many major content providers. “An acceptable
price to pay for ending the years of uncertainty arising from the vexatious
action of a handful of broadcasters”

This action has included many technical innovations that TVCatchup have made
to satisfy the demanding criteria applicable to becoming a qualifying cable
service, which the High Court has already acknowledged in their previous
judgment which ruled in their favour on 80% of the case. These include
measures such as geographical blocking of people outside the UK, region
checking, and a number of other technical innovations.

Regardless of the outcome of the European Court of Justice, matters have yet
to be finalised in the High Court, where TVCatchup will be arguing that the
OFCOM licences granted to ITV, Channels 4 & 5 specifically include those
minor subsidiary channels. Further, that if these PSB broadcasters argue
that their channels do not form part of the qualifying cable services that
TVCatchup is allowed to rebroadcast, then their inclusion in pay access
platforms such as Virgin Media and BT Vision would be in direct
contravention of their PSB obligations.

Thus, whatever the outcome of the ECJ, TVCatchup has already emerged as the
clear victor from years of legal wrangling, and has established itself as
the de facto online broadcast platform for web, tablet, mobile and numerous
other applications. In the words of Bruce Pilley “TVC is here to stay, we
may have relinquished some ground in a minor part of our battle, but the war
has already been decided in our favour. We remain Europe’s first and only
legal internet cable service and the ECJ opinion affects only a handful of
channels we carry”