Ofcom should investigate Sky’s dominance of the pay TV market, according to the head of arch rival BT.
John Petter, CEO of BT’s consumer division, claims Sky dominates pay TV, and that the lack of competition means consumers have to pay higher prices.
There’s no love lost between the two firms. Sky previously claimed that BT’s consumer arm should split from its Openreach business, which runs the UK’s largest broadband network.
Petter made his comments in a speech to the Broadcasting Press Guild.
Brits pay £50 more per year than the EU average for basic TV channels, and £75 more if extras such as sports and film channels are included, Petter said
He claimed that the UK's pay TV market was in stark contrast to the broadband market, which has seen falling prices and increasing speeds. Also, none of the four big broadband companies has more than a 32 per cent share, Petter added.
He also compared the pay TV market to the energy market.
“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,” he said.
He also made the point that, while Ofcom has made changes that means switching broadband or landline provider is relatively simple – as the responsibility lies with the company to which the customer is moving – pay TV remains “unregulated”.
He called on Ofcom to formally amend the scope of its digital communications review. This looks at the fixed and wireless networks and makes sure consumers are getting a good deal.