Ofcom has announced today that it has begun an investigation into BSkyB’s alleged abuse of its dominant position in the pay-for-TV sport’s market. The specific claim by BT is that Sky will only supply Sky Sports 1 and 2 to BT on ‘unfair terms’ that other providers, including TalkTalk are not faced with. This follows the launch of free live Premier League matches through BT’s YouView channel.
The war between Sky and BT has been escalating since Sky refused to screen promotional adverts for BT’s sports coverage. BT has the rights to show 38 Premier League football matches a season, through its three new sports channels, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. While BT has been recently challenging Sky in the TV market, Sky is now the second largest fixed-line telephone provider (Sky Talk) third largest broadband provider (Sky Broadband) - following its entry into these markets in 2006. Ofcom is under pressure to undertake a speedy investigation, and make some form of judgement before the start of the forthcoming football season.