Sky seeks delay in Ofcom wholesale charge

By Julian Clover
April 19, 2010 07.00 UK

BSkyB’s application for ‘interim relief’ against the imposition of regulated wholesale charges on its premium sports channels will be heard this Friday, April 23, the Competition Appeal Tribunal has confirmed.

The satcaster is hoping to overturn the decision by Ofcom to introduce a ratecard on Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 1 HD and Sky Sports 2 HD and to compel it to offer the channels to rival platforms. The regulator announced the ruling following the conclusion of its pay-TV review.

Sky argues that its business will be “severely and irreversibly prejudiced” if it is obliged to follow Ofcom’s ruling that it publishes terms and conditions for its wholesale offer by May 14. It is looking to have Ofcom’s decision suspended until a full appeal is heard.

Adjudicating will be Sir Gerald Barling, the President of the Competition Appeal Tribunal, who is known for his expertise on communications issues. This includes the 2007 copyright ruling on the screening of Premier League coverage from overseas in UK pubs.