CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-BSkyB wins appeal on sports channel prices

Wed Aug 8, 2012 1:14pm EDT

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to show BSkyB wins (not loses) the appeal, removes misleading comment from Tribunal ruling)

LONDON Aug 8 (Reuters) - British satellite broadcaster BSkyB won a long-standing dispute over the price it can charge rivals for its sports content after Britain's Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruled in the company's favour on Wednesday.

The dispute dates back to 2010 when media regulator Ofcom ordered BSkyB to reduce the amount charged to competitors, such as Virgin Media and BT for its two most important SkySports channels in a move designed to increase market competition.

The price of a single channel was reduced by 23 percent to 10.63 pounds ($16.64) a month, and for both channels by 10.5 percent to 17.14 pounds.

After BSkyB appealed against the ruling, the difference between both sets of prices were paid into an escrow account by BT, Virgin Media and Top-UP TV, with the proceeds to distributed after the case was resolved.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank estimated this week that the amount held in favour of Virgin Media, assuming the Ofcom decision was upheld, was about 19 million pounds.

Britain's Competition Commission said last week that BSkyB's strong position in movies did not adversely affect Britain's pay-TV market, a decision that was met by dismay by BT and Virgin Media.

Shares in BSkyB closed at 743 pence on Wednesday, valuing the group at around 12.35 billion pounds.

($1 = 0.6390 British pounds) (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Rhys Jones)