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BSkyB appeals to suspend Ofcom Sky Sports wholesale price ruling
Friday 23 April 2010 17:44:08 by John Hunt

A ruling in March by Ofcom which forced Sky to reduce wholesale costs of its Sports channels has been appealed for suspension today by Sky. The company is looking for interim relief to the ruling whilst it prepares a full appeal which it said could take up to 9 months. The announcement by Ofcom reduces the cost of the channels by around 20% at stand alone cost, making them more attractive to other TV providers such as BT who could offer them on the BT Vision platform.

The price cut call from Ofcom followed a 3 year review prompted by anti-competitive calls from Virgin and other rivals. Sky said the ruling would be a "strike at the heart" of it's ability to sell its products on a free market, particularly as it hadn't been accused of breaching competition laws.

Sky also have the backing of the English Premier League who offered to lend their support to Sky's case. They claimed that any reduction in wholesale costs would reduce incentive to bid for the channels and the value for football rights would be likely to fall over time.

Comments

Posted by shaunhw over 7 years ago
Greed, greed and more greed.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
It's just another want, not a necessity.

People can pay or live without.
Posted by russianmonkey over 7 years ago
I find it hypocritical and two faced that Sky don't want to release the sports and yet they want full access to BT's network for line and broadband services.

Surely they can see that by taking the price down they can attract more customers on more platforms and thus earn MORE money?

I know it won't always be the case for that, but that's my thinking of it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Re-read the story. This was nothing to do with the channels being available, access to them has been required for a while, but the price Sky may charge for them.

otester - an interesting comment about paying or living without from a guy who downloads as much copyright content without owner's consent as you. Interesting in that you just don't equate the two.
Posted by russianmonkey over 7 years ago
Apologies Dixi... I meant that it's hypocritical for them to want the prices lowered for access to BT's network, and yet they want to charge ridiculous prices for a very closed off service (with the exception of cable + tiscali.)
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Not really, BT complain about Sky charging them too much for the channels, Sky complain about BT charging them too much for some network services, that's business for you.

Virgin don't even wholesale / resell at all. At least Sky offer access to their EPG / platform at regulated rates.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Since when did sky complain about BT pricing and even if they did... Did Ofcom alter that pricing?
Skys channels have also always been available for others to purchase for use, thats how Virgin air them.
A few years back Virgin couldnt afford rights to a few Sky channels (Sky One and a couple of others). Where were Ofcom then? In the end Virgin and Sky struck a deal.
If Virgin can afford Skys charges so can BT.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
if BT dont like Skys charges for their sports channels they can always bid on rights to air premiership football and similar there self... Maybe BT would then see skys charges are totally fair, in fact even a bargain compared to how much the rights to get content like that costs in the first place..... No excuse BT crying like babies as usual and not wanting to spend money.
Posted by Blognorton over 7 years ago
Anything that reduces the money going into football has to be an unalloyed good.

The effect of this will be to reduce the obsecene amounts of money paid to utter morons. Sky has to fail to stop this.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
@Blognorton:Well said. Interesting how few people comment about the support Sky is getting from the EPL. Maybe if those greedy sods and the people they represent didn't demand so much money Sky could afford to pay less.

Oh and as for VM agreement with Sky - well it still hasn't got us access to Living HD. As usual the broadcasters don't give a monkey's for their audience.
Posted by rayvon over 7 years ago
Totally agree with Blognorton's comments,all Sky is doing is fuelling the obscene amounts of money sportsmen(especially footballers) get.
We the sports loving public have no option but to be held to ransom by Sky if we want to watch live sport.
As for the Premier league,it would serve it right if it went bankrupt....These premiership clubs clubs should be made to reduce their debt or be thrown out of the league.
Posted by djfunkdup over 7 years ago
re:AndrueC...

i get living hd here np......
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
CB - Pricing disagreements with BT, amongst other things, are why Sky haven't started widespread FTTC yet.
Posted by djfunkdup over 7 years ago
re:djfunkdup re:AndreC

edit: i get living HD here np on vm...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"Oh and as for VM agreement with Sky - well it still hasn't got us access to Living HD. As usual the broadcasters don't give a monkey's for their audience."

What? All the Living channels are available on Virgin
http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/tv/channels/index.html
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@others moaning about football, sky sports also broadcasts lots of other exclusive content that actually could do with more money involved and a wider audience. They are partly responsible for giving Rugby a bit of new life a couple of years back oh and dont forget the ashes in cricket which was basically ignored until sky aired it again.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
@ Dixinormous Ive read nothing about Sky complaining about pricing regarding FTTC.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Oh and for everyone else..... Its a pointless ruling anyway, it doesnt affect Skys HD channels. If Sky lose, all they will do is just move all the decent content off SD Sky Sports and shove it on HD Sky Sports only. Leaving BT to pay out money for effectively garbage anyway. Atleast thats what id do to screw them all over if i ran sky. Always ways around theses things LOL.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Living HD is not available on Sky (Living, +1, +2 and LivingIt are). Given how many subscribers Sky HD has that can only be because VM and Sky are still in dispute. Presumably Sky is withholding one or more of its HD channels from VM as well. It's time they stopped pratting around and put their customers first. Living HD would get a lot more viewers if it was available on Sky. VM would certainly benefit from more HD channels given the rather parlous nature of its current offering.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
..contd. Put another way - VM are currently refusing to make their flagship HD channel available to half the countries population. That's wrong. If it's because Sky are being petty then that's wrong as well. Someone needs to give both broadcasters a kick up the bum.
Posted by xb0xguru over 7 years ago
Anyone who agrees with the OFCOM ruling should just bear in mind what precedent this sets for other private sector broadcasters. Sky is funded by subscribers and shareholders only. Their sports channels are arguably the best in the UK in terms of coverage and variation. cont...
Posted by xb0xguru over 7 years ago
They own all their own OB Units and often are used for broadcasting for other channels due to the quality of HD cameras. Sky have driven broadcast TV forward in the UK and brought it out of the dark ages. They employ over 18,000 people across the UK, increasing each year. Bearing all of this in mind, OFCOM want to punish them for being a success. Shame on you, OFCOM.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Theres channels on Freeview and Freesat not available on Sky or Virgin, and vice versa.
Its called choice and something im pleased to have, i dont want everything to be shared by everyone, all that leads to is dispute over who pays for what and a decline in decent content.... I remember the days when Eurosport was a premium sports channel, until it got shared and shoved on all the UK and European satelite feeds, then it turned to poop.
xb0xguru says it best if other companies want content make them pay for it, not ruin it by giving it away for next to nothing and killing off investment.
Posted by harrassed over 7 years ago
As pensioners we have had to abandon Sky and settle for Sky Sat, but sadly no Sports which gave my disabled husband such pleasure. Surely they could look at giving a substantial reduction for OAPs over the age of 75 and particularly for those who are quite severely disabled? We can't even get Eurosport any more either.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Not to sound harsh but why should anyone get access to premium content for free. OAPs get the TV licence free do they not? Is that not enough? And i dont aim that at any single age but all age groups.....
I hate this attitude we have nowadays of everyone wanting everything for nothing or stupidly cheap, and when they get it stupidly cheap they moan cos its rubbish.
I used to have sky, didnt want to pay for it anymore so i cancelled, it was my choice i didnt moan it should be cheaper or free.
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
The welfare state exists so as to keep you alive and out of the gutter. It is not for the purpose of pampering every one of your little wants or desires.

Did you think that turning 75 meant life would become a free for all at the expense of others? The gall of some people is truly beyond the pale!
Posted by xb0xguru over 7 years ago
@harrassed - I have empathy for your situation, however you have to understand that premium content TV is considered a luxury, not a necessity. Before Freesat/Freeview, you only had 5 channels to choose from. There are now over 30 delivered at no extra cost. I suppose you should be grateful for that at least!
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
You won't have read about the pricing issues - Sky are struggling to agree 'commercial terms' (read pricing) and other issues with Openreach. Not really something that gets announced as there's no reason to yet and may prejudice negotiations.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Until i see official word of squabbling over prices it hasnt happened.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Pretty self-centred statement, not a characteristic usually associated with you. The issues are pricing, level of control ISPs can have over VDSL MSAN ports and the lack of a voice service operating over FTTC (have to use exchange-based legacy services). Might boil over into mainstream media if still no agreement when FTTC is more mainstream itself, until then a public argument is counter-productive.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Sorry that wasnt meant to be rude Dixi, im just saying if that issue isnt in the public domain its hard to discuss the details so until there is official word and detail its as good as not happened (at least to the point it can be discussed).
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