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01-04-2009, 10:03 PM #1Graham Guest
JML loses bid for higher Freesat position
JML has lost a High Court bid to obtain a higher slot in Freesat's programme guide.
JML was allocated channels 809 and 810 for its JML and JML Cookshop services respectively, which it complained was not on the first page of the shopping genre when the electronic programme guide was accessed by viewers.
It said that Freesat failed to comply with its own Listing Policy and relevant Ofcom rules on the allocation of channel numbers by platform operators. JML alleged that Freesat had acted "in breach of contract" by using a "haphazard, slipshod and highly subjective" method of allocating the channel positions, claims that Freesat denied.
In evidence presented to Mr Justice Blackburne, Freesat managing director Emma Scott said that her aim "was to ensure that the best known and most watched services were placed in a prominent position in the EPG list" and that the use of information such as Freeview carriage status and BARB audience ratings was consistent with attempting to fulfil "viewer convenience and expectations".
Mr Justice Blackburne rejected JML's claims, saying that Ofcom's code requires that Freesat "publish and comply with an objectively justifiable method of allocating listings" which is "exactly what Freesat's Listing Policy achieves".
"JML fails to establish that Freesat was in breach of the EPG Agreement and its claim must therefore be dismissed," Mr Justice Blackburne ruled.
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18-04-2009, 02:24 PM #2