The European Commission has been investigating agreements between Sky TV and content owners including Paramount, NBCUniversal, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros, and Sony. The issue at hand is whether or not these companies were involved in anti-trust actions. It looks like Paramount is getting out ahead of any fines by coming to a compromise. They will be removing geoblocking from their agreements with Sky TV. That means that customers throughout Europe will have full access to Paramount content via Sky Go. This does not have any impact on other parts of the world but it’s great news for those in Europe.
Just to be clear, the European Commission did not rule against Paramount. If they had done so the company would have very likely been fined for anti-trust actions. Instead the teams at Paramount and Sky TV proposed a compromise that was accepted by the European Commission. The compromise states that Paramount will remove geoblocking language from their agreement with Sky TV for both online and satellite services. The commitments will be in place for five years. You can read the EC’s press release to learn more about the agreement.
There is some question to what the Brexit will mean to geoblocking in the future. Right now the EC is working to solve geoblocking issues to make content available to users throughout the EU states. That could change when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. No one knows just how the Brexit will impact agreements like this one. Only time will tell, but in the meantime EU viewers will have access to Paramount content that was previously geoblocked outside of the UK and and Ireland.
Paramount is just the first domino to fall in what I suspect will be a series of compromises from the major content owners who have relied on geoblocking to maximize profits throughout the world. Right now the focus is on Europe with the EC investigating the Sky TV agreements. Rather than waiting for fines to be levied, companies like NBCUniversal and Disney could join Paramount in lifting the geo blocks. This could happen in the months to come. In the meantime viewers will continue to rely on SmartDNS services to unblock the geo restrictions.