BSkyB makes last-minute move to block YouView

Pay-TV operator BSkyB has lodged a last-minute complaint to regulator Ofcom in a move to block the launch of YouView, the BBC-led connected TV joint-venture scheduled to launch next year.

The timing of Sky’s submission to Ofcom means that the regulator is likely to further delay a decision on whether to launch a full investigation into the service, formerly known as Project Canvas. The pay-TV operator’s complaint follows earlier submissions made by cable operator Virgin Media and a number of smaller companies and industry bodies.

The timing of the latest complaint, which came just as Ofcom was set to decide on whether to launch an investigation based on the earlier submissions, provoked the anger of YouView CEO Richard Halton, who described it as an attempt to extend the regulatory process that was motivated by commercial self-interest.

YouView’s partners may now be resigned to an investigation by Ofcom on competition grounds, although they remain confident that the joint-venture will ultimately go ahead.