BT the telecommunications giant behind the BT Vision service is considering whether it will appeal against the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s ruling around the price that Sky charges rival broadcasters for its Sky Sports digital television channels.
The TV, Broadband and Phone company is also considering whether it should sell on its own sports rights to rivals, and BT Chief Executive Ian Livingston told a Morgan Stanley conference in Barcelona that BT is “minded to appeal” against the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s ruling.
Under the ruling satellite television broadcaster Sky is no longer bound to offer its Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 digital television channels at wholesale prices to customers which effectively overturned a rule put into place by the telecommunications regulator Ofcom.
Currently BT pays a wholesale price of £19.07 for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2, which it then sells onto its own digital television customers at a lower price. Naturally BT feels that the price of £19.07 is too high especially considering that they retail the Sky Sports channels on BT Vision at £18.20 for both sports channels.
At the same time negotiations are in a potentially difficult place for BT as it eyes up other content from Sky, and is also considering the wholesale distribution of its own BT Sports channel to rival broadcasters after BT secured both Premier League football and Premiership rugby rights earlier this year.
Chief financial officer at BSkyB Andrew Griffiths also told the conference in Barcelona “Knowing they [the rights for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2] are expensive and drive the bottom line, our objective has always been to distribute that content as widely as possible. We always want fair value. We have a very open mind about wholesaling to our customers.”
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