Opponents rally against Ofcom’s Pay TV ruling


April 6, 2010

Website: Rapid TV News

BSkyB is squaring up to a legal battle with UK television regulator Ofcom over a new ruling that the pay-TV operator must make its channels available to rivals at lower prices.

BSkyB will not be alone in its action.

The (English soccer) Premier League has reportedly instructed its lawyers, amongst the most tenacious in the business, to study the 650-page Ofcom document for possible routes to challenge the regulator.

Widespread reports in the British press say that most of the other British sports bodies are also looking to resist the Ofcom rules.

The Premier League, in a statement, said “Our lawyers are working through (Ofcom’s) document and we are reserving our position.”

Premiership chief executive Richard Scudamore said a few days ago that Ofcom’s decision was “ill-judged

Their collective anxieties revolve around the fear that future sports rights values will plummet.

The English Premiership is currently worth £1.6bn over the current 3-year period.

The (English) Rugby Football Union says TV fees might fall by as much as 60% because of Ofcom’s intervention.

Sky must drop its wholesale prices, the fee it charges UK pay-rivals like Virgin Media, by 23% within the next 6 weeks.

Various other broadcasters have over the years tried to buy sports rights, but the mix of Sky’s buying power plus their near-10 million subscriber base has created a ‘win-win’ situation for sports bodies and broadcasters.






 

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