Premier League to fight Ofcom's ruling on Sky
Chief executive says forcing TV company to drop prices will 'undermine UK sport'
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Friday 16 April 2010
The Premier League is to mount a challenge against Ofcom's ruling that Sky must reduce its wholesale price by more than 20 per cent, claiming that it will "undermine not only English football but UK sport as a whole".
Sky has a £1bn deal to show exclusive live games from the Premier League and the League fears its ability to attract such lucrative future deals will be damaged by Ofcom's decision.
"By forcing Sky to sell its sports channels to its competitors at a discount, Ofcom will reduce the incentives of all broadcasters, Sky included, to invest in the acquisition of sports rights," said Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League. "The effect will be to fundamentally damage the investment models that have helped sport become a successful part of the UK economy.
"We want to see competition for our content; it attracts value to invest in what fans want – playing talent and facilities. Anything that diminishes that investment will be bad for the game and bad for sports fans as a whole.
"We, and our clubs, operate in a highly competitive market and we intend to resist strenuously this unjustified attempt to reward risk-averse companies and undermine not only English football but UK sport as a whole."
The broadcasting regulator ended a three-year investigation with an announcement last month that Sky Sports, which carries exclusive coverage of Premier League football, English cricket and domestic rugby union, be made available to rivals such as BT and Virgin Media for a monthly fee of £10.63 per subscriber. The current price is £13.88. Ofcom decided that Sky "exploit their market power", which "prevents fair competition and reduces consumer choice".
The Premier League is expected to discuss the action with other sporting bodies, but it has no plans to mount a joint action. The move comes as no surprise to Ofcom, which had already planned for a challenge. The League has six weeks to submit its appeal to the Competition Appeals Tribunal.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Latest in Sport
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City: Five things we learnt from the Allianz Arena
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Gareth Bale has his car kicked by angry Real Madrid fans after refusing to stop for autographs
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter