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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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SkyCo Psycho

30 November 2017

It's sad to watch a company writhing in pain as it enters its death throes.

It's even worse when that company lashes out at everything and everyone, blaming everyone but itself for its demise.

Yes, I'm talking about SkyTV of course.

It almost appears as if the prospect of its subscriber-base and profits crumbling to dust in the face of real competition from the likes of Netflix has unhinged the management of SkyTV, to the extent that they're now grasping at straws to try and justify their huge pay packets and benefits.

As most readers will already be aware, the company is firing off law suits quicker than Kim Jong Un can fire off ICBMs across the coast of Japan.

Firstly they took down a seller (just one mind you) of Kodi boxes with a court injunction and now they're taking court action in an attempt to be given the right to demand that ISPs block web-sites on their say-so.

Seriously... this borders on mentally disturbed delusions of grandeur.

Almost certainly in order to try and excuse their own poor performance for a rapidly disappearing customer-base and dwindling revenues, the management of SkyTV are claiming that piracy is the cause of their woes.

Of course anyone with half a brain will already know that it's not piracy that is the cause of their problems -- it's their woefully outdated business model, outrageously over-priced product and roundly despised levels of service.

For the management to try and suggest "it's not our fault... people are stealing our content" is ludicrous.

If SkyTV were to prevail in its appeal to the courts, they would be given the right to dictate to ISPs which sites would be blocked on "copyright" grounds.

Excuse me but who died and made SkyTV king of the internet?

It is outrageous to even suggest that any single player in a competitive market be given the power to block another website -- be it one that carries pirated material or not.

SkyTV says that these pirates are making material available for which Sky themselves have paid for exclusive rights and only those sites would be blocked.

Okay, SkyTV has the rights to the History channel... so would the first site they ordered ISPs to block be YouTube?

Yes that's right, YouTube has countless uploads of content that SkyTV claims exclusive rights to broadcast in NZ so why wouldn't they order ISPs to block it?

No, I'm sorry Sky but your main competition isn't piracy -- it's YouTube and it's Netflix.

People who want to pirate content will always pirate content and they were never going to pay SkyTV a three figure sum every month to watch endless ads with a few snippets of oft-repeated programme-material interspersed.

Most people are honest and will pay a fair price for good content. Many of these people *were* SkyTV customers because they had no alternative place to get their entertainment. Sky has had a virtual monopoly for decades.

Then along came Netflix and suddenly it's an "all you can eat", what you want *when* you want it smörgåsbord of entertainment -- for just $15 a month -- with no ads!

Holy crap! There's SkyTV's real competition right there.

So SkyTV's management are being extremely disingenuous, seemingly in an attempt to cover their own arses by trying to convince shareholders that the evil pirates are raping their once profitable business.

Utter BS.

Let's see how long it takes for even the most gullible Sky shareholder to finally twig to the fact that they're being conned and their shares will soon be worthless.

One can only hope that our courts are smart enough to see this legal folly on the part of SkyTV for what it is -- a diversionary tactic and an attempt to shutdown what in some cases is simply fair competition.

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