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."

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower