Sky faces fresh competition probe


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Sky was tackled again by the media regulator yesterday as Ofcom said it would look into the satellite giant’s “strong market position” in pay-TV sport.

Ofcom is reviewing whether the rule requiring it to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 to other pay-TV providers, in order to ensure fair and effective competition, “remains appropriate”. The regulator said Sky’s live football rights are “key” because they are “likely to be capable of influencing consumers’ choice of pay-TV retailer”, and it wants to look again at whether “limited distribution of this content may harm competition”.

Ofcom pointed out that Sky holds over 75 per cent of live rights to Premier League football and brings in more than 80 per cent of market revenues from the supply of key sports channels. Ofcom added that it was “seeking views on whether, given its market position, Sky may have incentives to limit distribution of its key sports content”.

Ofcom first ruled in 2010 that Sky had to let Virgin and BT carry Sky Sports on a wholesale basis and BT said yesterday that “this remedy remains essential to address the significant competition concerns with Sky’s supply of its channels”.