Premium payers left in the dark

Spot on with Torin Douglas’ Campaign for Real Listings in last week’s article on Artsworld, “Why new arts channel faces a poor reception”.

Artsworld’s Sir Jeremy Isaacs and Bob Phillis have every right to worry about Sky Digital’s refusal to allow subscribers to plan their viewing in advance. It does not bode well for the type of viewer who will watch Artsworld – and I count myself as a potential viewer.

My own experience with Sky Digital to date, however, does not fill me with much hope for or desire to subscribe to a channel whose programme details I cannot discover in advance. Artsworld viewers will not be couch potatoes who are prepared to flick through the on-screen listings on a daily basis (the dreaded 73 per cent). I fear Artworld’s people are being conned by Sky on this one. Join the club!

As a premium payer for FilmFour since it first became available on non-digital Sky a couple of years ago, I felt outraged enough when Sky contacted me to say it was moving to Sky Digital at the beginning of April.

Nevertheless, FilmFour is one of the reasons I subscribe to Sky, so I went over to digital, only to discover that the listings have disappeared from Sky’s magazine, Sky View.

Neither are they in the Sky Digital magazine. Viewers have to trawl through the TV screen listings on a daily basis (a tedious, unappetising process), or go online by accessing FilmFour’s Internet site (an unnecessary extra cost, both in time and money).

Try getting anyone at Sky or FilmFour to give you an answer on this listings issue (skydigital@sky.co.uk or feedback@filmfour.com) and you’ll find yourself whistling in the wind.

Why does Sky treat its viewers like this, especially those who pay premiums over and above the normal package? It shows contempt for people who subscribe to Sky channels.

And why doesn’t FilmFour insist on proper listings? Is it even aware of the situation? In the meantime, bring on that Campaign for Real Listings! I’ll be the first to sign up.

Mark Griffiths

Arundel

West Sussex

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