Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Virgin Media complains to regulator over TV rights.

Story from Eurosport.com

Cable operator Virgin Media has complained to Britain's broadcast regulator over the way that rights to Premier League soccer matches are sold, saying that consumers are being forced to pay too high a price to watch games.

Britain's Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, says it does not plan to bid in the next rights auction but it is affected by the prices paid through its role as a wholesaler of sports channels from BSkyB and BT.

The two groups currently share the rights to the top flight of English football and are expected to bid again when the next Premier League auction starts this year.

The price for the latest rights deal rose 70 percent when it was announced in 2012. "The rapidly rising cost of Premier League live broadcast rights means UK fans pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV," said Brigitte Trafford, Virgin Media's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

"Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to investigate how the rights are sold ahead of the next auction."

Virgin Media filed its complaint to media regulator Ofcom two weeks ago and is expecting a response towards the end of October or early November.

It has filed the complaint on the basis that the current rules are stifling competition.