BT sports complaint arrives at High Court

December 6, 2013 11.12 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Sky Sports NewsBT will on Friday tell the High Court why it thinks the Competition Appeal Tribunal failed to address what the telco sees as failings in the premium sports market.

The case relates to BSkyBís August 2012 appeal over the amount it can charge rival platforms for two of its premium sports channels in a ruling by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The Tribunal concluded Ofcomís core competition concern that Sky had deliberately withheld from other retailers the supply of its premium channels to be unfounded.

The original dispute goes back to the March 2010 order by Ofcom. The regulator set a wholesale price of £10.63 (Ä11.90) per subscriber per month when sold on a standalone basis. This reduced the price by 23.4% below the current wholesale price to cable operators. The bundle of Sky Sports 1 and 2 favoured by the majority of customers was reduced by 10.5% to £17.14. The intervention followed a three-year review into the pay-TV market after complaints from Virgin Media, BT and Setanta Sports.

Enders Analysis says it believes BTís chances of success are low, though a win would substantially enhance its competitive position in its battle against Sky.