Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of British pay-TV broadcaster Sky, has called for a regulator to be introduced in order to maintain a level playing field between traditional broadcast companies and the looming web giants.
In the past month two of the FANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) have notably stepped up their efforts in the sports rights market. Initially Amazon snapped up some smaller Premier League packages in the UK and then last week Facebook took up the English top-flight’s full portfolio in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
In an article in British daily newspaper The Times, Darroch said: “It’s simply wrong that some of the largest, most profitable companies on the planet should not be expected to meet, if not even exceed, the same level of responsibility [as broadcasters].”
He argued that it was unacceptable that social media sites did not have to abide by the same regulatory criteria as their rival broadcasters in their target areas.
Darroch’s concern is set out in a letter to Matt Hancock MP, the digital, culture, media and sport secretary of Theresa May’s British government. Darroch, who has been in his role since 2007, stated that internet giants should be held accountable for the content that appears on their sites in order to prevent the “flow of hate, abuse and offensive, illegitimate and even dangerous content online.”
Darroch explained that the regulator would have the ability to order inquiries as well as put sanctions in place if necessary on offending businesses.