BSkyB appeals to suspend Ofcom Sky Sports wholesale price ruling
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.