Virgin Media has told BSkyB that it will take its carriage fee dispute to the High Court if it is not resolved within 30 days. The cablenet intends to challenge BSkyB for its “abuse of dominance”.
“We are not interested in prolonging this dispute any longer than necessary but we will not allow Virgin Media or our customers to be the victim of Sky’s market power. In the interest of the consumer, we want these issues resolved quickly,” said Virgin Media CEO Steve Burch.
In a presentation to analysts Monday, Burch said he anticipated the loss of subscribers to BSkyB to be numbered in thousands, though to date churn has only amounted to a few hundred. He confirmed Broadband TV News reports that subscribers would be offered discounts on their monthly fee to encourage them to stay and that great store was being put in the company’s VOD service.
Virgin Media’s case will not only include the carriage of Sky’s basic channels including Sky One and Sky News, but also its own channels such as Living and Bravo, carried by Sky at a substantial discount following separate carriage negotiations earlier this year. (JC)