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Ofcom needs to broaden its Digital Communications Review to include pay television, in order to combat high prices and poor deals for consumers brought about by a lack of competition.

That is the view of John Petter, CEO of BT's Consumer Division, who in a speech to the Broadcasting Press Guild said the pay TV market should look to the UK's broadband sector.

In contrast, he argued that the UK's broadband market had seen falling prices, rising speeds and strong international performance.  

One particular source of ire has been Sky’s calls for the break-up of BT, which Mr Petter labelled as “smokescreen” designed to obscure the real market failings in pay TV, which has long been dominated by Sky.

He added that more needed to done to secure effective competition in the sector, citing it as a major driving force in the success of the broadband market.

Mr Petter pointed out that there was no single broadband provider with a market share greater than 32 per cent, before adding: “Whereas in the energy market regulators have criticised the Big Six operators, in pay TV Sky has a 64 per cent share, so there is really only the Big One.

"Relative to EU averages, Sky customers are paying around a half a billion pounds more per year for the basic packages of pay TV channels. Switching in pay TV is 50 per cent lower than the levels seen in broadband, so it is clear we just aren’t seeing the right levels of competition for Sky."

Switching was an area identified as being greatly in need of improvement, with Mr Petter again using the broadband market, where switching is regulated, as a shining example.

And despite bold recent moves by BT Sport, Mr Petter said it had still not done enough to blemish Sky's dominance, calling on Ofcom to apply its approach to regulating the telecoms market to the pay TV sector.  

He added: "James Murdoch once said in relation to Sky that 21st Century Fox fought for ‘a level playing field and to have competition policy applied with an even hand’. But when it comes to competition in pay TV, the message from Sky seems to be ‘talk to the hand’. We think Ofcom should make Mr Murdoch happy and give the UK a competitive pay TV market that is fit for the next decade."

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