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Premier League takes on Ofcom over Sky ruling

April 19, 2010

The English Premier League is to challenge the decision by media regulator Ofcom to force pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB to sell its sports content to rivals at a reduced rate. The Premier League said it had decided to resist strenuously the ruling which it said would reduce the incentive for all broadcasters to invest in the acquisition of sports rights.

Ofcom said in March it would force dominant pay-TV group BSkyB to make its sports channels available to rivals at a more than 20 per cent reduction to the current prices in a drive to give greater choice to consumers.

“By forcing Sky to sell its sports channels to its competitors at a discount, Ofcom will reduce the incentives of all broadcasters, Sky included, to invest in the acquisition of sports rights,” League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said. “This can only have a negative impact on the ability of sport to attract a fair return on its content in an open market, which is necessary to ensure appropriate investment.”

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