By Karolin Schaps
LONDON Aug 8 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
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
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.
Ofcom said it was "very surprised and disappointed" with the
CAT's decision, which it believed was "not in the interests of
Ofcom said it would immediately consider what further steps
it could take.
BSkyB said in a statement: "We welcome the CAT's
confirmation that Ofcom's competition concerns in relation to
the wholesale supply of Sky Sports are unfounded."
"This finding supports the argument that Sky has been making
consistently over the last five years."
After BSkyB had 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 be
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.
Last week, Britain's Competition Commission said 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.