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Sky Sports must be made available to BT Sport on a wholesale basis, at a fair price, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has determined.

In an interim ruling, the body upheld Ofcom's 2010 decision that Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 should be made available to rival service providers.

Originally, the CAT sided with Sky - which appealed Ofcom's decision - deciding that the price set for wholesale access to Sky Sports was fair.

However, the case was then referred to the Court of Appeal, on the basis that the CAT overlooked Ofcom's own findings on market competition.

Ofcom's appeal was successful, and now, at the second time of asking, the CAT has delivered a favourable verdict on Sky Sports access and pricing.

Naturally, Ofcom has welcomed the decision, saying it paves the way for more top sports events to be made available to BT's YouView TV customers.

Subscribers will be able to access Sky Sports for the first time - allowing them to watch a full range of televised Barclays Premier League matches.

At present, Sky Sports shows 116 matches per year from England's top-flight, compared to the 38 broadcast on BT Sport.

Ed Richards, Chief Executive at Ofcom, said that, after four years of litigation and legal challenges, the regulator's 2010 pay-TV decision "continues to serve the interests of UK consumers".

He added that the CAT decision supports competition and innovation in the communications sector, as Ofcom originally intended.

"Ofcom is now focused on reviewing the ‘wholesale must offer’ remedy in light of developments in pay TV," Mr Richards added.

A spokesperson for BT said the firm has always maintained that Ofcom was correct to impose the ‘wholesale must offer’ on Sky.

He claimed that the remedy "remains essential" to address the "significant competition concerns" with Sky’s supply of its premium channels.

"We look forward to being able to offer these channels to our YouView customers very shortly," the representative added.

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