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BT aims to undercut Sky on TV sport viewing packages


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BT says it is ready to enter a price war with Sky over the price charged for fans to watch premium sports events, including football and cricket, on TV.

The telecoms firm is awaiting the outcome of an Ofcom probe, examining whether Sky must drop the wholesale price it charges rivals for content.

BT Vision would aim to charge about £15 a month for Sky Sports 1, about £10 cheaper than Sky currently charges.

The outcome of the investigation by the regulator will be known in March.

A spokesman for BT told the BBC that there would be a benefit to the viewing public as they would be getting more choice.


The Ofcom inquiry into pay TV is also looking at the price Sky charges rivals for access to Sky Movies.

If Ofcom rules that Sky must cut its wholesale prices it means that the likes of BT and Virgin Media could pass on to any price cuts to their customers.

BT would look to introduce a new price structure from the start of the 2010/11 football season.

But a Sky spokesman said: "We invest almost £1bn a year to create a top-quality sports service.

"It would be perverse to force us to sell it on the cheap to competitors who have shown no appetite to invest in content or support British sport. Consumers do not benefit if regulation undermines the incentives for companies to invest."

They also indicated that if Ofcom did enforce wholesale price cuts, Sky would appeal against such a decision.

When it launched its investigation in June, Ofcom said it believed "requiring Sky to make its premium channels available to other retailers on a wholesale basis is the most appropriate way of ensuring fair and effective competition".

BT and Virgin have struggled to make a dent in Sky's viewing figures.

Sky has 9.5m subscribers, Virgin has 3.7m and BT Vision has 436,000.

Loss on packages

Virgin Media currently charges between £16.50 and £24 per month for Sky Sports 1 depending on a customer's TV package.

The firm - formerly known as NTL - said it made a loss on every sports package sold because of Sky's wholesale prices and also the need to remain competitive.

"Ofcom's proposals to cut wholesale prices for Sky Sports aren't about subsidising Sky's competitors," Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media, told the BBC.

He said it was more about "creating a competitive market", and that Ofcom had the means to "bring premium film and sport to millions more people at much lower prices".


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Any competition for sky can only be good - i hate how they demand games to be changed tho - Forest fans are livid re the Newcastle game being made a monday night - i know a few who have booked hotels for the weekend, and now will have to take a day off work. :D. (sorry Bakeri) I'm sure it will happen to us to.

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oh im thrilled mate... couldn't be happier...

My Mrs' Birthday weekend has now had to be cancelled... no way we can both get the monday off work, and get the child out of school...

That aside im just peeved that they have the power... BBC and ITV never even had the power to change kick-off time never mind the bloomin' day! whats wrong with making the schedule pick the fixtures?

Who knows, maybe that'd allow other broadcasters to get a go at showing games as well, Sky Sports, ESPN, BBC, ITV - between them they could cover a good few games live! but no, SKy want them all, so move them about to fit them in...

STUPID SKY, and their STUPID money overriding the needs of actual fans

:mad: GRRRRRR :mad:

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Don't be in any doubt though - this argument is solely over money, nothing about the sport itself. Don't expect anything to change for the better, apart from perhaps a lower cost (possibly ending up with a lower quality product).

Although I do sympathise with Sky to an extent - their coverage is way ahead of the rivals. I hate ITV's coverage of sport. Bad quality, bad commentators, and a general don't give a **** attitude to the consumer.

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Who cares about Forest fans plans anyway? I'm sure they really care about us having to travel to Plymouth on a tuesday night.

did you book a hotel in Plymouth for the weekend and have it moved to tuesday? do you now have to try and get a refund for the hotel??

not the same then is it??

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As I've said, who cares about forest on a Derby Forum, everyone been put out by sky in the past, and if you want a point because you've booked a Hotel then have one.

I've got my own problems, lifes a bitch. I might start a Facebook site called "Lifes at bitch"

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it's not about scoring points, and to be fair its the derby fans that start all the Forest based threads so why you getting so upset?

it's not about the Forest Vs Newcastle game.. it's not about individual sob stories, it's about the fact that frankly SKY shouldn't have that much power over the games... it should be about the fans not about the TV stations earning money.

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You'll not be moaning when or if you get £60 million in the Prem will you?

Sky is here, thank god. Because look whats happening to the Scottish game now the monies not there.

The days were the TV worked around the FA are over, yes they were the good old days I agree. But it's in the past.

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