Sky says Ofcom ruling is wrong and its prices are fair
Sky Sports coverage could be available to non-Sky subscribers in as little as six weeks.
Following Ofcom's investigation into the pay TV market, the communications regulator has revealed that it intends to force the satellite broadcaster to make Sky Sports channels available to other cable, terrestrial and internet television (IPTV ) services such as Freeview and BT Vision at a regulated wholesale price.
This means that Ofcom, rather than Sky, would set the price that other TV providers would pay for showing the channels.
In a statement Ofcom said it “has set a wholesale price of £10.63 (per subscriber per month) for each of Sky Sports 1 and 2, when sold on a standalone basis, which is 23.4 per cent below the current wholesale price to cable operators.”
Additionally, Sky will be required to provide High Definition (HD) versions of Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to other providers.
Other broadcasters gave a cautious welcome to the news. BT has already said that it plans to offer the channels at lower prices than Sky's existing prices. However, both it and Virgin Media have voiced concerns that Sky could move its premium content to other sports channels to get around the ruling.
Ofcom has said that Sky would have to make a "reference offer", which is a template contract to other pay-for TV providers within six weeks.
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