BSkyB has asserted that its unwillingness to carry advertising for BT’s upcoming sports channels on Sky Sports is “perfectly reasonable”, following complaints by BT to the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom.
Pointing to the billions of pounds that it has invested in the Sky Sports brand, Sky adds that airing these adverts for the BT Sport channels would be a bit like supermarket chain Tesco being able to advertise inside branches of its rival Sainsbury’s.
Writing on the Sky corporate website, Graham McWilliam, group director of corporate affairs at Sky, states: “We must correct BT’s assertion that it is ‘happy to take Sky’s advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours’.
“For the record, BT advertises on Sky every month of the year and can promote its sports channels on all of our channels except Sky Sports.”
McWilliam goes on to say that Sky is prevented by BT from advertising on the web portal aimed at its broadband customers, and that this has been the case since Sky starting competing with the telco in this area several years ago.
Referring to BT’s recent description of Sky as a “rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy”, the Sky exec saves his best line for last, suggesting: “This £22 billion gorilla in puppy’s clothing would do well to look at its own double standards.”
BT will launch at least two dedicated sports channels this summer, carrying a wide range of top sporting action include substantial live coverage of the English Premiership after successfully bidding against Sky for the exclusive rights to 38 games.