BSkyB could be forced to make live Premier League football and blockbuster movies available to other pay-TV operators, depending on the outcome of a consultation ordered by Ofcom.
The regulator is investigating whether Sky's dominant position is bad for competition, and follows complaints from BT, Setanta, Top Up TV and Virgin Media. Sky has faced criticism that prices demanded to distribute premium movies and sport have made it difficult for newcomers to offer any viable rival service.
Ofcom is launching the consultation because it believes BSkyB has "market power in the wholesale supply of this content and that BSkyB has an incentive to limit the distribution of this content to its competitors in a manner that favours its own satellite platform". The regulator says "markets where competition is weak do not deliver the best outcomes for consumers".
Sky says the arrival of Setanta into the UK market to demonstrate that competition is robust.
Ofcom will publish its findings next year.