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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 December 2014

Broadband giants' expensive battle

Paul Callanan's article on football financing (issue 834) was illuminating. The almost complete dominance of big business (often from very shady business people) is only part of the problem. There is currently a battle between Sky TV and BT Sport for live broadcasting rights which has led to a hyper-inflationary spiral in the cost of broadcasting rights. This flows through to the cost of tickets for matches.

British Telecom (BT) didn't enter the TV market to provide sport for the public; it was a means of stemming loss of broadband customers to Sky who could offer both TV and broadband. Although BT Sport is free to their broadband customers some City opinion doubts whether this is sustainable permanently.

The test may come soon, when they start paying for the Champions League rights. BT has just increased line rentals by 6% so it looks like they are trying to partially recoup the cost from their general customer base.

Chaotic

The Pay TV market is becoming chaotic. A choice of providers offers broadly similar packages and there are regular complaints to regulator Ofcom about anti-competitive behaviour. Most customers couldn't care who provides their TV as long as they get what they want to watch. But the competitive element pitches BT workers against Sky workers against Virgin Media workers.

Chaos in the modern telecoms market and the drive for profitable revenue stream partly reflects the ever-increasing cost of investing in the latest technology. Capital is spread among too many companies.

This is driving a new wave of consolidation as witnessed by BT being in talks with both O2 and EE regarding a possible purchase. Both TV and telecoms industries are crying out for public ownership and planning, not on a national but an international scale.

A British Telecom worker

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 10 December 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Osborne's savage cuts: No return to the 1930s!

Reject the lie that is austerity

Europe: a new wave of workers' struggle has begun

Save our NHS

Tenants can resist Scrooge landlords

Climate change: Sacrificing the future

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Uprising against police violence in the US


Socialist Party workplace news

London bus drivers: Same job - we want the same pay!

1,000 firefighters march to defend Ricky Matthews

Students join Lambeth walkout

Sharpak Yate packaging strike

Rail franchise jobs: TUPE or not TUPE?


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We have a world to win!

Socialist Students: fight for free education

Election appeal: finding cash to fight the cuts

Campaign news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The 1914 Christmas truce

Mockingjay: Part One

Broadband giants' expensive battle

Quiz 2014


 

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Related links:

Football:

triangleDiego Maradona - Working-class rebel, football genius

triangleBeware the billionaires bearing gifts

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Football & high wages in the current crisis

BT:

triangleOpenreach and EE: Massive vote for action

triangleFight BT redundancies

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

Sport:

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Sport and Coronavirus

triangleCapitalism v cricket

triangleGentrification on the terraces: fans say twenty's plenty

Market:

triangleNHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

triangleTories admit market failure - we want our NHS back!

Telecoms:

triangleEE puts workers' health and safety at risk

Big business:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

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