BSkyB has said Ofcom has not demonstrated the satcaster has a material impact on the competitive process and that it should be obliged to offer its premium channels on a wholesale basis.
In a heated response to the regulator’s pay-TV inquiry, Sky describes the proposals as “radical and highly interventionist regulation of a sort unseen in any developed market economy”. Clearly annoyed by Ofcom’s references to Sky’s “initial” investment in UK pay-TV through its movie and sports channels, the satcaster believes Ofcom should also take into account the development Sky has made over its 20 year history, including recent investment put into technologies including high definition and video on demand.
Sky rebuts Ofcom’s assertion that the UK pay-TV industry is less strong than other countries. It says the level of innovation is consistent with other markets referred to by the regulator and that the UK has seen the same changes in the packaging of content. According to Sky there is no evidence that its retail prices are higher than those in other markets.
Sky has called on Ofcom to step back from the process and review its proposals with an open mind. It says it is particularly necessary when competitors are attempting to use the regulatory position to their own advantage.
Ofcom’s proposals were published in October 2008 following an initial complaint from Virgin Media, BT, Setanta Sports and Top Up TV.