BT expects to offer full BSkyB soccer

Chris Forrester


British Telecom's incoming CEO of its BT Vision pay-TV operation says he expects to be able to offer all of BSkyB's English Premier League soccer coverage from the 2010-11 season.

Marc Watson, who will shortly head up BT Vision, told the London 'Independent' newspaper that he expected broadcasting regulator Ofcom's recommendations to eventually be adopted by BT Vision and Sky's other rivals. Ofcom wants Sky to cut its wholesale channel prices by 30% for third-party broadcasters. BSkyB has firmly rejected Ofcom's plan, saying it would robustly use “all available legal avenues” to challenge and resist the scheme.

BSkyB's army of internal and external lawyers are famed for their ability to stretch out legal argument and litigation.

However, Marc Watson, who is taking over from Dan Marks as head of BT Vision, told The Independent that he hoped to have Sky Sports on his service and that the channel would deliver a “step change” in terms of BT Vision's proposition.

Watson is, it must be said, a skilled negotiator and says he is looking to build a closer relationship with Sky. BSkyB unveils its full-year results on Thursday, and might well comment on Mr Watson's request.