The Competition Appeal Tribunal has published an interim ruling that Sky Sports 1 and 2 should be made available on BT’s YouView service.
In March 2010, Ofcom ruled that BSkyB should offer its Sky Sports 1 and 2 channels to other pay TV providers on a wholesale basis to promote competition and innovation to benefit consumers.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, welcomes the ruling for more top sports events to be made available:
“After more than four years of litigation and legal challenges, Ofcom’s 2010 pay TV decision continues to serve the interests of UK consumers and this ruling is consistent with our original decision,” Richards explained. “Today’s ruling paves the way for more top sports to be available on another TV service and supports competition and innovation in the communications sector as we originally intended.”
Ofcom’s original decision was challenged at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which said that the wholesale must offer should not stand.
However, in February 2014, the Court of Appeal judgment found that the Tribunal failed properly to consider Ofcom’s findings that there was ineffective competition in the market. It concluded that errors of law in the Tribunal decision meant that its judgment could not be upheld and remitted to the Tribunal to reconsider its decision.
Today’s Tribunal ruling follows last week’s Supreme Court decision, which rejected BSkyB’s request to challenge Ofcom’s powers to the impose the wholesale must offer on BSkyB.
Ofcom will take account of today’s decision in its current Competition Act investigation over supply of Sky Sports 1 and 2 to BT’s YouView service. BT last year complained about the terms under which BSkyB was offering these channels to BT.