BT has urged fast action to force Sky to let it show Sky Sports through BT Vision on YouView without losing control of its own sports channels on satellite TV.
Media regulator Ofcom could announce within six weeks whether Sky should let BT offer its sports channels wholesale on YouView in the same way as TalkTalk.
It’s alleged that Sky won’t let BT resell the Sky Sports channels on YouView unless BT allows Sky to resell the BT Sport channels to its satellite TV customers.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to getting Sky Sports and BT SportsBT said: “We are pleased Ofcom has decided to open an investigation as we believe Sky has behaved in an unreasonable and discriminatory manner.
“This is because they have refused to provide Sky Sports 1 and 2 to BT on YouView on fair terms whilst providing them to other pay TV retailers such as TalkTalk.
“While we are continuing to try to resolve this through commercial negotiations, we have asked Ofcom to take urgent action against Sky in the meantime.”
BT has publicly refused to let Sky resell its forthcoming BT Sport channels on satellite, preferring to sell them direct to satellite TV customers like other premium ‘a la carte’ channels.
It claims that because TalkTalk can resell the Sky Sports channels, Sky is abusing its dominant position in the UK pay-television industry.
Sky said: “Sky considers BT’s latest complaint to be entirely without merit. We look forward to engaging constructively with Ofcom.”
With the 2013/14 football season due to start in early August, BT wants Ofcom to decide quickly – and preferably force Sky to offer BT a wholesale deal for Sky Sports on YouView.
The BT Sport channels will be free to anyone taking a BT Broadband subscription, whether it’s through a BT Vision+ box or the BT Vision player on YouView.
Sky customers will be able to pay BT from £12/month direct for the channels, or free if they switch to BT Broadband.
Neither Virgin Media nor TalkTalk has signed a deal for BT Sport, and TalkTalk told Recombu that it won’t have BT Sport when the channels launch in early August.
TalkTalk customers can pay for the Sky Sports channels on a rolling, monthly basis with no contract.