ECB concerned by Ofcom ruling

England cricket chiefs today criticised a ruling by Ofcom ordering Sky to cut the cost of selling their sports channels to rival broadcasters.

Sky will have to sell Sky Sports 1 and 2 for up to 23% less than the current wholesale price, according to the ruling by the broadcasting regulator.



Steve Elworthy, the ECB's director of marketing and communications, warned that the ruling could have implications for the amount Sky would be willing to pay for sports rights with a knock-on effect for funding for the game.



The current ECB deal with Sky is worth £300million over four years and ends in 2013, and there are already fears that proposals to make the Ashes a listed event - reserved for free-to-air broadcasters - would reduce the value of the rights.



Elworthy told Press Association Sport: "We are very concerned about the implications of the decision.



"Broadcast revenues are vital to the health of our game and allows us to fund cricket at all levels.



"A decision like this could lead to less investment in sport. It fails to consider the damage it could cause to sports from the grassroots upwards and that's our biggest concern."



Ofcom said the decision, after a three-year investigation into the industry, would ensure "fair and effective competition".



Ofcom began investigating the pay TV market in March 2007 after concerns were raised by BT, Virgin Media, TopUp TV and Setanta, which has since gone bust.



The regulator said today: "Ofcom has concluded that Sky has market power in the wholesale provision of premium channels. Ofcom has also concluded that Sky exploits this market power by restricting the distribution of its premium channels to rival pay TV providers.



"This prevents fair and effective competition, reduces consumer choice and holds back innovation and investment by Sky's rivals.



"Today's decisions are therefore designed to ensure fair and effective competition which should lead to greater investment, innovation and choice for consumers."



Sky immediately announced it will challenge the ruling.



A Sky spokesman said: "There should be no doubt that Ofcom's actions represent an unprecedented and unwarranted intervention.



"This is a marketplace where customers are well served with high levels of choice and innovation. Consumers will not benefit if regulators blunt incentives to invest and take risks.



"After three years of engagement with Ofcom, we now look forward to a judicial process which will apply impartial analysis and clear legal standards."

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all