Sky hits capacity: no more channels

Size of EPG blamed for locking down number of channels

Sky has reportedly announced that it will not be launching any new channel slots on its satellite TV service. The reason given is that there are so many channels in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), that many Sky set-top boxes won't be able to cope with the volume information. And thus Sky has locked down the number of channels that have access to it.

"After a very careful consideration we have taken the decision to make these changes in order to safeguard the interests of both viewers and platform users," said Nicola Bamford, director of channels and operations at Sky.

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"Our goal is to provide a high quality viewer experience and a stable environment for all platform users, while maintaining the principle that access to the EPG should be available without discrimination to broadcasters."

Sky locks down

The EPG gives viewers information regarding programme synopsis', digital subtitles and scheduling. It all takes up so much memory that Sky boxes are likely to struggle with the sheer volume of data being downloaded.

The announcement is likely to start a bidding war between broadcasters for slots on the EPG. If a channel is not listed in the EPG, it severely limits the number of viewers who are likely to tune in. And thus many broadcasters are willing to swap seven-figure sums in order to secure themselves a spot in the guide.