THE Procon-SP Foundation applied a fine of R $ 2.9 million to the Sky for misleading advertising and other infractions of the Consumer Protection Code. The reason is the Sky Livre service, an old modality that allowed free access to open TV channels through the pay TV operator’s platform.
According to Procon, Sky Livre was offered between 2011 and 2015 and had advertisements mentioning terms such as “Sky’s digital dish”, “no monthly fee” and “available throughout Brazil”. The ads highlighted the transmission of digital channels from open TV stations, such as Band, Globo, Record, SBT and others. The subscriber bought a kit that contained a receiver and satellite antenna and would not need to pay monthly fees to watch the channels.
However, the operator did not make it clear that the channels were converted from analog to digital signal, and that turning off analog TV according to the federal government schedule would affect the service, which is no longer available. For Procon, the Sky Livre advertisements did not inform about this temporary condition in a clear, conspicuous and legible form.
In addition, the agency points out that Sky charged software license fee, security of access and rental of optional equipment (additional point), which “are prohibited by Resolution of the Regulatory Agency of the sector (Anatel)”.
O Tecnoblog contacted Sky to find out the company’s position, but received no response at the time of this publication.
Currently, Sky continues with a similar model, which is the Sky Prepaid: the customer buys the equipment and from there can recharge with channel packages for periods between 3 and 30 days. There is also the Digital Package, a modality very similar to Sky Livre and which includes open, public and audio and radio channels. However, the service is paid, with a monthly cost of R $ 21.90 or R $ 166.80 per year.
Analog signal shutdown affected pay TV
While there was an analogue signal, pay-TV operators were forced to load open channels on their programming grid. However, with the arrival of digital TV, this obligation ceased to exist: they should negotiate directly with the broadcasters if they wanted to continue with the service on the grid.
At the time, the channels SBT, Record and RedeTV came together and created Simba, which wanted to charge operators to load open channels in the pay TV line-up. Due to lack of agreement, these channels were even removed from the air in the squares where the analog shutdown had been carried out. The parties reached a compromise and the channels returned to the subscribers’ programming grid.
Oi TV Livre follows the Sky Livre model
Oi TV Livre is nothing more than a service along the lines of the old Sky Livre. The customer can buy the receiver for around R $ 500 and have access to Globo, SBT, Record, RedeTV, Band in HD, in addition to 32 radio channels and complimentary channels. Anyone who wants to can recharge plans with paid channels, whose values start at R $ 34.90 for 15 days of service.
With information: Procon-SP.