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Should Sky Sports cost less?

10:44 UK time, Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Regulator Ofcom has told Sky it must cut the price it charges rival cable, terrestrial and internet broadcasters to show its premium sports channels. What do you think?

Ofcom have ruled that the broadcaster will have to sell Sky Sports 1 and 2 for up to 23% less than the current wholesale price. The decision aims to offer viewers more choice of pay-TV services.

Sky , who plan to appeal the decision, said: "Consumers will not benefit if regulators blunt incentives to invest and take risks." A spokesperson for the English Premier League - which relies on lucrative TV rights deals - said it was "very disappointed."

Are you a sports fan or Sky Sports customer? Would cheaper live sports lead to greater consumer choice? Would it affect investment in sports television and sports funding?

Updates from BBC Have Your Say Host


Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    People should not subscribe to Sky. This elitism has meant that normal everyday people cannot watch sports on TV anymore like we used to. Also, have you considered the person your money is (ultimately) going to?

  • Comment number 2.

    Should Sky Sports cost less ?

    I wonder how many people will say "No, I think it should cost more." ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Obviously everybody wants things to be cheaper, but at the end of the day it has to be wrong for an outside body to force Sky to reduce their prices as it in turn will force Sky to offer less to Sports Bodies, which will in turn impact on the quality of these sports. Some supports rely on the TV money to survive, most notably Cricket, and we all know that a lot of Football clubs are struggling because of the economic situation.
    If I think the prices are too high, I simply don't buy.

  • Comment number 4.

    Ofcom should be coming down hard on the BBC not on a PRIVATE business that does not receive funding fom the public. I am tired of watching 'RE-run, Re-run, and Re-run of ancient BBC programmes in return for an exorbitant licence Fee. People have a choice to either pay for SKY programmes or do without. This is called freedom of choice a concept that is unknown to this government and any department connected to it. Talk about discouraging innovation and new business to this country.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sky might do well to consider marginal revenue as it gets on its high horse. Football interests me not a scrap but a good rugby or cricket match will get me to the tv and the occasional more minority sport also - on equal basis as I prefer the skill to the tribe. I certainly would not pay for SkySports as it is. Get the business into the margins...!

  • Comment number 6.

    You already have a choice - get sky, go to somewhere public showing the game on sky or else listen on the radio / webcast

    We had this with Setanta and were left with pay per view internet for watching the national side play football. The likes of Virgin media or the cable companies are not going to invest in sport, simply skim a profit off the wholesale price from their viewers. They will add nothing.

    Is the point of 'Free-view' not the your getting it free bit ?

  • Comment number 7.

    I have Sky because there's not much in the way of live sport anywhere else; I don't think Sky should be forced into giving a discount to other broadcasters who get outbid by Sky. Smacks of socialism to me.

    If the BBC (and others) didn't waste so much money paying their executives and so-called stars ridiculous salaries, they'd have plenty of money available to bid for all the sports that currently appear on Sky.

    Think about it BBC....

  • Comment number 8.

    If the price is based on the range of sports represented, the quality of play, the commentary and analysis provided and the production quality (camerawork etc) then even if it was free Sky Sports would still be a rip-off. . .
    (Luckily I don't watch it as I have a life).

  • Comment number 9.

    Yes I definately think sky sports should be cheaper I mean have you seen the price of a parachute jump or the cost of gliding they are horrendous !!

    Seriously though any curb on Murdoch's ' I want it all and I want it my way ' is a good thing.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why is this on HYS ?.it is totally irrelevant to the vast majority of BBC news readers.If people wish to waste their money on Sky,then let them it is of no consequence to me or others like minded.
    This topic is a waste of time and money,if HYS has no better things to debate then I suggest the BBC scraps it.

  • Comment number 11.

    Sky isn't just a service, it's a business. They set their prices, they make their money. If this money covers the cost of showing these sports then I am happy to pay it.

    You can't dictate prices to a business, regulator or not.

  • Comment number 12.

    I despise Rupert Murdoch for his interference in British politics just as i despise the two main parties for getting into bed with him, for their own gain at a cost to the british public.

    ut in this case SKY had the vision, Sky made the investments and SKY took all the risks and were successful, even while their competitors went to the wall.

    Their reward - being told they have to sell at a discount the rewards they've reaped to other companies that have done nothing to earn them.

    Daft & a disincentive to any media companies willing to take a risk by investing in the UK telecommunications infra-structure.

  • Comment number 13.

    No because:

    1.Sky took the risk of bidding for the sport TV rights
    2.The others did not bid for the sports TV rights or did not bid enough and are now complaining.
    3.Sky should stop selling to the other TV companies and let them bid for the TV rights themselves.

    If this is allowed to go through then I may as well not bid for a car on eBay but just wait until the auction is over and then phone the winner and say that they have to sell the car to me for what I would have been willing to pay for it which of course is less than they paid for it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Could not care less - the more time spent away from the TV screen the better.

  • Comment number 15.

    anything that cuts the cable bill and forces the premiership to be a little more sensible about money is alright by me

  • Comment number 16.

    Hang on a minute, Does this mean that the package I currently pay for with Sky will be reduced by approx £17 ( I don't think so do you)and then I will have to register and pay another standing order subscription with another provider or more than one to get the same service, When pay per view for premier football matches was taken away from Sky and the rights for top Football, boxing etc events were given to other providers you had to subscribe to thier service and we were told that there would be no minimum contract length and could unsubscribe at any time. Has any body tried to unsubscribe? it's designed to be so difficult and time consuming by these companies that you eventually give up or have a nervous breakdown, are the Off What's and government ministers so out of touch that they are unaware of this massive problem or is it mainly about big business and not the consumer (I think the latter don't you) I would much rather go back to the pay per view system and select what I want to watch than be tied in to a subscription every month (that is so difficult to cancel)for 90% of stuff that I don't want to watch and have absolutely no interest in. If my Sky subscription will be reduced accordingly (Ha Ha) and the new providers genuinley had pay per view at reasonable rates and not a monthly subscription or joining fee, great if not leave it as it is. I cannot think of an Off whatever that has improved services for consumers they are overpaid toothless entities that try to justify thier existense to protect thier own over inflated salaries. What have they done about Gas/electricity prices, booking fees for tickets ( what a rip off)

  • Comment number 17.

    We dumped SKY for freesat at Christmas and have never looked back. The only sport I am interested in is Formula 1, Wimbledon and the big tournaments like the 6 Nations and the World Cup - They are all free to air. I think Sky will be loosing a lot of subscribers over the next few years once people start to realise just how much is available free to air. For the few things we can no longer watch, we just buy the series on DVD, it normally out within a few months of the series airing - It is much cheaper than the Sky subscription and you get to watch it in your own time! Alternatively, we just wait for a free to air channel to pick it up, if it is any good you can be sure it will get airtime sooner rather than later - I think Sky are like Microsoft, they have benefited unfairly from their monopoly by making people believe there is no alternative, there is and I applaud this announcement.

  • Comment number 18.

    Surely we should let the people choose? If it is so expensive, then surely no one would use this service? It's not like it's a compulsory, like water or shelter. If you don't want to pay the Sky prices, look in to other service providers.

  • Comment number 19.

    As someone not interested in Premiership football, I'm pretty happy that it's bundled away on some absurdly expensive Sky channel that I don't have to pay for, and not taking up air-time on the channels I do watch.

    However, if the Premiership relies on these absurdly expensive TV rights, then perhaps driving down the cost would drive down the wages that footballers and football managers receive. I think it would do their personalities (and the skin-tone of their wives) a world of good.

  • Comment number 20.

    I personally regard expensive sport on television with the same revulsion that our legislators regard recreational drugs and would instantly ban it if I was in charge.

  • Comment number 21.


  • Comment number 22.

    Should Sky Sports cost less?
    Well at least paying SKY is optional, you can choose to have it or not.
    Paying the BBC is compulsory with the threat of prison if you don't, even if you choose not to watch it.
    Which is more fair?

  • Comment number 23.

    I don't think it should cost less- people pay what sky charges because they want the content Sky Sports provides. I would like to watch more movies, but what Sky charges costs more than I am able to pay, so I go without. It's market demand, and people will only pay if they want it enough.

  • Comment number 24.

    Good. I'm sick of being priced out of watching my favourite sport. Pay once for TV, twice for Sky and a third time for Sky Sports? I think not.

  • Comment number 25.

    I would like to be able to purchase just the sport channels from Sky rather than the whole package which I would not watch.

  • Comment number 26.

    I say it should be more expensive as it seems every chav in this country has a dish hanging off their council flat's balcony. If they can afford it, it's obviously not expensive enough!

  • Comment number 27.

    "Obviously everybody wants things to be cheaper, but at the end of the day it has to be wrong for an outside body to force Sky to reduce their prices as it in turn will force Sky to offer less to Sports Bodies, which will in turn impact on the quality of these sports. Some supports rely on the TV money to survive, most notably Cricket, and we all know that a lot of Football clubs are struggling because of the economic situation."

    Heaven forbid we should pay football players less money!

  • Comment number 28.

    In theory I'm against it as the market should provide the answer, however markets are not efficient and monopoly's are not allowed. So by the law they have to do something.

    Microsoft was a private company but due to monopoly position had to offer a choice forced by the law as the market could not.

    In the end it comes down to the way the market was created at the very beginning. There should have been 6 or 7 network providers, in the end there were 2 granted a license and one bought the other out. so we were left with 1 satalite broadcaster.

  • Comment number 29.

    Considering how little BBC and Radio I listen to, and how much satellite I watch, I'd rather see a refund on my license fee. I'm not a Sky Sports or Movies subscriber, but I'm against paying for a service that I do not use to fund waste of money celebs like Jonathan Ross et al.

  • Comment number 30.

    @1 Well most normal everyday people I know do have Sky or Virgin. People who want to watch the sport pay for it. I think you'll also find that many people already complain about the amount of sport already broadcast on the BBC and don't want any more shown.
    I pay for Sky sports and yes I do consider where my money goes, a good chuck gets routed to the sports that I enjoy watching. Why would I be happy about the investments in sport going down ? If you want the government to invest then that's going to mean tax rises for all.

  • Comment number 31.

    Where did the HYS on the "Chancellors debate go"?????????????

    Oh and BTW; People should "do" sports NoT watch overpaid "young gentlemen" do it.

  • Comment number 32.

    "At 12:03pm on 31 Mar 2010, Tony273 wrote:

    [...] You can't dictate prices to a business, regulator or not."

    It seems, however, that business can dictate prices to you, their customer. Also, by having a monopoly on the broadcast of certain leagues (or entire sports), it would not be difficult for that business to dictate the price payable to those leagues or sports. It may seem unfair for a regulator to try to introduce greater competition into the market, but it merely SEEMS unfair...

    Anyway, unless you are a Sky shareholder, why on earth are you complaining about a potential reduction in the cost to you??

  • Comment number 33.

    The Sky deal has only made football loads more expensive, and the players and clubs richer financially. It has succeeded in squeezing more money out of your average fan, who must now pay a fortune to follow his or her chosen club, compared with, say, 25 years ago. It has contributed pretty much nothing else. Like a popular cola drink, it has succeeded in persuading people to pay much, much more for their pleasure than is necessary. It does this by creating a false image and glamour around football, to make us think that we are getting something fantastic for our extra money, when we're not getting anything that we didn't already have. We've been conned.

    So we have more 'glamorous' foreign players now. So what? It hasn't made English football any more successful in terms of achievement. We won the European Cup loads of times in the 70s and 80s without all the Sky and TV money. We have bigger, safer, stadia - true - although much of the costs of these have been borne by various sponsorship deals, and not directly from Sky's money. The EPL is so tucked up with the Sky empire, so drunk on its cash, that it has lost sight of the meaning of football. People went to see the local team as a form of distraction and entertainment at the weekend. They were passionate about their team and their club. The EPL sees these fans as cash cows to be milked relentlessly, yet it has offered us nothing back except hype and hot air. Thanks, Sky. Thanks for nothing. You've waxed fat at our expense for far too long now, and it's time this gravy train hit the buffers.

  • Comment number 34.

    2. At 11:49am on 31 Mar 2010, Engage Your Brain wrote:

    "Should Sky Sports cost less ?

    I wonder how many people will say "No, I think it should cost more." ?"

    No, I think it should cost more. ;)

  • Comment number 35.

    As someone who finds watching sport akin to watching paint dry I think that the cash to fund sports should come from those who want to watch it.

  • Comment number 36.

    I can only say good. All those arguing that there should be no interference because it's a free market, a private company, state intrusion or whatever are just so blinkered. Banking is a free market and look at where the LACK of interference has landed us. We all - well most of us anyway - recognise thar it's only external regulation that keeps the retail cost of services like water, power, transport and so on at reasonable levels. And the cost of mobile phone roaming in Europe was getting out of control until the EU stepped in. So why not tv services? I know they are not essential but they are now part of the fabric of normal life.
    And most of all, this ruling is bound to have a downward pressure on the outlandish pay levels of footballers. The whole tv rights thing is what led to the obscene amounts paid to them - and is now contributing to the financial fragility of many clubs.

  • Comment number 37.

    I find it absolutley unbelievable SKY have worked hard and invested a lot of time and effort into SKY Sports why should they be forced to sell this at a cheaper price to competition surley the right move would be for the likes of BBC/Virgin etc to invest more of their own money into fighting for coverage rights.

    Ofcom shouldnt be getting involved i look forward to SKY fighting the decision and the objection being over turned

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm all for these curbs. Sky's modus operandi seems to be to bid whacky prices for sports, and then charge rip-off prices for anyone to watch them. Then the huge fees are used by the sports clubs to pay inflated wages and fees and the sport gets taken away from its natural base. They've done no end of harm to so many sports and activities over recent years through their actions.
    Meantime through their various media outlets they carry on a drip feed of "news" to undermine the BBC, and yet the latter looks well cheap by comparison. I hope this is just the start.

  • Comment number 39.

    I will be changing this year when my contract runs out I was thinking about moving to Sky, but they all 'lie' to get you to join, then they hike the price up. I even thought about Sky this morning as an advert of theirs, caught my eye in a magazine "from only £18", yeah right, and the rest.....Glad, they are asked to bring price down.....

  • Comment number 40.

    This not good for consumers, this price reduction applies to other companies. Net result is sky will have to increase its price.

    Big tick A+ for the very short sighted person/people who came up with that idea.

  • Comment number 41.

    At least I feel I get value for money at Sky ,I don't from the BBC. I also feel I get more impartiality on Politics,I do not from the Brown Broadcasting Co.

  • Comment number 42.

    Top sports are too reliant on Sky for their income. And this ruling may force sports, football in particular, to finally confront a threat far greater than any media watchdog - namely the exorbitant sums of money paid to players.
    - David Bond, the BBC's Sports Editor

    Are top sports too reliant on Sky? If selling television rights were less profitable for clubs, would they really reconsider how much they pay players?

    Post your comment

  • Comment number 43.

    Hold on a minute people are reading this all wrong this issue was originally raised as Sky has the market share on tv services in the uk and the other suppliers wanted ofcom to force sky to share the fairly now that ofcom has ruled in favour of the other suppliers sky are up in arms about it but wait a minute wasnt Sky the main complainant when Bt had the market share on the telephone broadband market you didnt hear them complaining when ofcom ruled that bt must open these to promote fairness and btw Bt is paying the £1.5b in upgrading the infrastructure to improve the quality of the majority of lines without investment from other telcos yet they still get to pass on the benfits to there customers dont you love the kharma here come on ofcom go the whole mile open it up to allow all tv companies to offer services at competetive prices just like the broadband market

  • Comment number 44.

    At 11:44am on 31 Mar 2010, The Running Man wrote:
    People should not subscribe to Sky. This elitism has meant that normal everyday people cannot watch sports on TV anymore like we used to. Also, have you considered the person your money is (ultimately) going to?

    I'm a 'normal everyday person' and I choose to pay for Sky. Who are you to tell me where I can spend my money?

  • Comment number 45.

    In the supposedily 'free-market' USA Murdoch was banned from owning a TV station and a newspaper at the same time, until that is certain politicians changed the rules.

    We have allowed this man to run roughshod over tv and the print media. ITV was in direct competition with the BBC and therefore had to be world class just to keep up. The rules were deliberately changed (suprise suprise by thatcher) when satellite channels came along (ruthlessly self-promoted by Murdoch newspapers).

    Two things come to mind on this subject. Can we stop going on about how big business loves competition. This is a myth. What businesses want, and particularly Murdoch, is a monopoly of supply. They want to monopolise all major sports so that other organisations, like Virgin, and people have to pay what Sky want them to pay.

    Secondly, supply and demand. The BBC and ITV both pushed sport on all of us, year in year out. Creating an audience who wanted to watch, rather than play sports. If Sky charge high rates and then if people stop watching they will have to raise prices even further to re-coup. This will be self defeating as eventually support for sport will die out.

    If you don't think this is possible then look at the attendance figures for football matches. Premier league games only fill stadiums when two top teams are playing each other. The attendance at champions league games is not sufficient to pay for a premier, europeon standard team. So once they get promotion they nearly always struggle. The remaining leagues were only ever funded from the football pools, that has now been replaced by the lottery. In all even with Sky sport charging the earth, the days of TV sport are numbered. Pay per view over the internet will only be profitable for the top ten clubs.

    Leg of goose that laid the golden egg anyone?

  • Comment number 46.

    Good news. To much is given to footie clubs just to see them play. All it has done is create a massive money making business with stupidly high wages for kicking a ball about.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think Sky should reduce their wholesale prices so that the exclusive sports rights they hold are available to a wider audience. I speak as someone who doesn't follow football in the slightest, but understand the frustration people feel at not seeing sports on TV like they could in the past.

    It may force sports governing bodies to rethink how the system is run and control their budgets more wisely.

    Wouldn't sponsors be more inclined to stump up more cash if the sponsored sport was seen by a wider audience? This is a good thing for sports in the long run.

  • Comment number 48.

    i think it is absolutely disgusting that offcom are trying to force SKY into making their premium content available to competitors, SKY have worked hard and invested alot of time and money selecting and making available its premium content to its customers, why should any other companies have this content when they havent invested any time or money into this and for them to be handed it 'on a plate' so to speak is appauling. as for people who object to sky pricing for premium contect how much would u spend down the pub watching a match? if u add it up every time a premiership game comes on i think you'll agree skys pricing is not unreasonable

  • Comment number 49.

    Is it my imagination, or is there a huge conflict of interest here? Surely the company that produces the TV channels should be independent of the companies that sell the channels to viewers (be it by satellite, cable, etc.)?

    Then the pricing would be transparent and fair to all?

  • Comment number 50.

    Of course Sky Sports should cost less! I have to subscribe to Sky Sports to watch cricket. It never used to be that way. Back in the 70s and 80s I could watch cricket on the BBC.

    I loathe the thought that my money is lining the pockets of Rupert Murdoch. But worse still is the arrogance of Sky. They really couldn't give a damn if you call up to complain as they know that you have no other choice.

    And I am forced to subscribe to all the Sky Sports channels as Sky tend to put live cricket matches across all three sports channels during a tournament (as was the case during the recent Twenty:20 cricket tournament) so you cannot assume that the matches will be shown on, say, Sky Sports 1.

    Easy money for Rupert Murdoch. Run an effective monopoly and get subscribers to pay to watch nearly twenty minutes of adverts per hour.

  • Comment number 51.

    I recently ditched my Sky Sports subscription as I think it is poor value for money. However I do not think Sky should be forced to reduce it's subscription by Ofcom, the only thing that should force them to do so is if enough people like me choose not to subscribe.
    I personally can't stand football and the thought of my hard earned readies going to support the over paid Premiership "stars" does not appeal.
    On a slightly separate note I would like to see Sky offer sports such as Cricket and Rugby on a separate channel - as it does not pay so much for the rights for these sports it should be much cheaper and encourage take up, but it should be for Sky to decide on a commercial basis if this is viable. We all have the ultimate sanction to choose not to subscribe and OFCOM should not meddle in this.

  • Comment number 52.

    Its not a matter for Ofcom to be snooping in. If they want to address the fact that Sky are the only source for some sports events, this is a monpoly issue & should be addressed as such. The price being charged for the service is a business decision & should not be something that legislation can dictate.

  • Comment number 53.

    22. At 12:26pm on 31 Mar 2010, doomjeffs wrote:

    "Should Sky Sports cost less?
    Well at least paying SKY is optional, you can choose to have it or not.
    Paying the BBC is compulsory with the threat of prison if you don't, even if you choose not to watch it.
    Which is more fair?"

    Nail on the head time, doomjeffs.


  • Comment number 54.

    If I thought that the money SKY charged for it's services went anywhere other than to jumped up football players and their managers I would care, as I don't think that is the case I don't care.

    There needs to be more money available for minority sports and more interest shown in these sports. As the BBC showed the European Canoe Slalom championships last year I will stick to watching sport through the BBC.

  • Comment number 55.

    You can't penalise someone for the cost of a non-essential service.

    The market forces dictate the price and unlike food/housing/transport, it is a luxury to have Sky Sports and thus who is to say the price.

    If it was too high Sky would loose customers and adjust. This is meddling and although everyone wants things for cheaper it can't be justified on a private non-essential service.

  • Comment number 56.

    Sky Sports is Availible Through Sky on its own
    At the end of the day the hint is n the name SKY SPORTS not UK SPORTS
    SKY offer a product that is Availible to all to watch and are allowing Virgin media to Show these events aswell to there customers

    If you dont want to pay for it DONT watch it or go to the pub i mean do all of you think that the cameras, staffing ,tech (HD)transmissions dont cost anything i mean get real guys really Bussiness is Bussiness

    Last time i checked if M&S wanted to sell Morrisons Branded food then Morrisons would set the price that it wants M&S to pay The Goverment has no say in this so why should sky be dictated to on its costs regardless on who it is to!!

    Let Virgin/BT/Talktalk go out and purchase the HD Cams and pay people to film the events and stream these live and see how mucth it cost!

  • Comment number 57.

    I have sky sports because i love sports and i can afford it because of my bumper pay packet!! If you dont have sky then you have nothing to moan about, if you do and dont like the prices then either downgrade or get rid of it!! Simple really!!

  • Comment number 58.

    They can double the price for all I care, I wouldn't give Rupert Murdoch one penny of my money.

  • Comment number 59.

    I got Sky as there was no guarnetee £200 on ariels & boxes would recieve a decent Freeview signal, Virgin don't operate in my area, and it took BT 2 months to reposnd to my queries about BT Vision. If you can point a dish upwards you can get Sky. No brainer. Choice is all well and good, it sounds nice, who would object to more choice? But reality has a habit of narrowing down options.

    Sky had the guts to do something no other broadcaster would or could. Sky invested, Sky delivers. ITV Digital, Setanta anyone? I don't see why a organised, delivery focused company should pander to competitors who can't get thier own houses in order.

  • Comment number 60.

    Yes. Sky has a virtual monopoly on key sports such as Premier League Football and it is about time some action has been taken.

    Sky are bullies and when another company tries to compete with them e.g. On Digital and Setanta they price them out of business.

    Well done Ofcom!

  • Comment number 61.

    "Football clubs are struggling because of the economic situation"... no... they are suffering due to the general level of greed across the premier league for players wages and transfer fees, the greed then forcing financial mismanagement of the whole debacle only exposed by the economic climate. The sooner we drag football into check the better, and if this helps then Im all for it and may start watching football again. It was about 15 years ago when I realised that footballers were being paid silly money for not doing a lot and not actually contributing to society other than appearing as a bunch of over-paid chavvy school-dropout thugs, who cry to their mummys if somebody so much as breathes on them on the pitch.

  • Comment number 62.

    Anyone who pays for a commercial stations broadcast needs their bumps felt. If a commercial station cannot pay for and profit from its broadcast by advertising revenue, then the content is either no good or too expensive to buy the rights for in the first place. Sky sports equals footballers with hugh salaries paid for by viewers who do not understand the principle of commercial broadcasting.

  • Comment number 63.

    The only spectator sport that I seek out to watch on TV is Rugby, I certainly do not pay to watch. I care not what SKY charges, it is their business, literally!

  • Comment number 64.

    Sky has done a great job in moving sporting events you used to be able to see off normal TV to somewhere where you have to pay more for it. Blame the people who made that a succesful business model for being willing to pay for Sky in the first place.

  • Comment number 65.

    BSkyB (aka Sky TV) operate just like BT after deregulation of the UK telephone service; they act as if they are the only player in the market and try to force their competitors out of the way by charging exorbitant costs to supply their content to broadcasters such as Virginmedia. We've already seen this when they *doubled* the charge to Virginmedia for Sky One forcing Virginmedia to drop the channel or pass the increase on to customers. I think Virginmedia surprised them by dropping the channel because it wasn't that long before it came back, presumably with Virgimedia being charged less, as my bill didn't increase.

    The sooner BSkyB are forced to operate on a level playing field the better for everyone.

  • Comment number 66.

    #22 - No-one is forcing you to have a TV.

  • Comment number 67.

    Sky Sport should be taken off air! I'd rather watch gloss paint dry, (and it's cheaper) I fact why not get rid of it altogether! I had D-Max when satellite broadcasting started and it was technically better than the rubbish put out by Sky even now. It didn't disappear evry time it rained either.

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm not anti-capitalist, but I do think big businesses such as BskyB really do take the micky out of their customers with regard to the price of their goods/services.

    We all know that what they charge the customer is a massive mark-up in most cases on what the actual cost is to them of providing that product/service.

    When prices increase year after year they treat us all like mugs telling us 'it's because costs have gone up', but they never provide any specific information. If anything I often suspect the opposite is the case, as new knowledge and technology actually makes it CHEAPER to produce many good and services. It's the same with the oil, gas and fuel companies. Why do you think these companies continue to make massive profits even in times of recession?

    The whole point of regulatory bodies such as OFCOM is to stop companies from treating it's customers like this, and if they didn't act they'ed be about as useful as a chocolate teapot. At the moment BskyB are as close to a monopoly as you can legally get, and this position allows them to raise prices for no better reason than bigger profits, so I welcome OFCOM's intervention in this matter and hope it sends out a clear message to other such companies.

  • Comment number 69.

    BSkyB is a commercial operation and should be allowed to charge whatever its customers will pay. End of story.

    Ofcom would be etter employed in an examination of how the BBC spends UK tax payers money.

  • Comment number 70.

    Sky needs to be forced to become more open on many fronts.

    Although there is a mechanism (the Conditional Access Module - CAM) which allows other organizations to build digital video recorders, Sky refuses to actually make any CAM available, thus forcing subscribers to use their Sky+ or Sky HD+ boxes. There is no competition at all in this market, and the millions of users of Windows 7 and Windows Vista are unable to use them to fully integrate Sky TV into their systems. This situation has to change, and requires legislation similar to that passed in the US.

  • Comment number 71.

    TV service whether cable or Satellite is rubbish.

    Sport should be free, the only reason it is so expensive is the overbloated wages paid. Football is a british national heritage, we can't even provide good home grown players anymore, we are used to losing in world games and it is the cost of showing football that makes sky sports fee so high. If I want to watch another sport it is normally pay per view, and once caught in the subscribers net, when you want to get out there is very little drop in price. Too many greedy people trying to make quick money.

  • Comment number 72.

    I could save money on my SKY every month if I wasn't paying my TV licence. Maybe there should be a facility to allow all the BBC channels to be be blocked on your SKY box so you don't have to pay the fee.

  • Comment number 73.

    With ITV grabbing the IPL, (and having Champions League), World Class sport is starting to creep back onto terrestial. This makes Sky look more expensive and unnecessary.

  • Comment number 74.

    If you force them to make Sport channels cheaper, they will increase price of other channels. I am not subscribed to Sport channels but subscribed to other channels, why should I subsidise those who like watching sport?

  • Comment number 75.

    This is one of those silly questions like, 'Is the Pope a Catholic', of course, everything should cost less, that way, the same can happen to TV as what's happened to care for the elderly, no one in this place is prepared to pay.

    I object to having no choice in this matter, I like sports and all the kids programmes are (mostly) corralled into channels only available on cable/sat. My kids also like to watch sports and not just football.

    However, to people who object to paying licence fee, you're having a laugh. It's 12 quid a month, what is cable/sat? Minimums are about £20 a month (brand new customers only) and if you want the premium service, sports, factuals, kids etc, 50 or 60 notes a month. There's nobody else offering it for less, or more, there's just nobody else. The BBC produce almost infinitely better programmes than nearly all other channels, look at the Professor Brian Cox's programme running now, if you want to see part of where your licence fee goes and needless to say, Attenborough. What do I get with my cable dollars? I have to watch the footballers that I pay for playing for teams that I don't even like and driving big cars that they can't spell, Four Weddings, Pimp my Pimp and Dog the Bounty Hunter. 500 or something channels of mostly dross and on a fair few of the good programmes you see on cable, you find they were part produced for or wholly by the beeb. BBC is value for money, listen to the radio. OU programmes woudn't exist without it. The list is almost endless.

    Stop your nonsense. If you had anything important to think about, slagging the Beeb would be the last thing on your mind. Enjoy your life and stop moaning.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm not interested in sport, so I dont bother with Sky Sports.

    I do enjoy the Olympics though, but thats on terrestrial TV.

    How about cutting the cost of Sky Movies as the films are so old.

  • Comment number 77.

    I can't imagine why anyone would subscribe to Sky now that there are umpteen channels available on Freeview, including plenty of sport and films.

    Sky is on a downward spiral. The Premier League can look forward to massive reductions in payments from BSkyB and the collapse of most of the PL clubs following on from the demise of Portsmouth.

  • Comment number 78.

    Regarding sports pay, soccer players in particular have been paid obscene wages for far longer than satellite TV has been around, so no you can't blame Sky - as much as I'd like to. AFAIK (and I hate the sport) FIFA are consulting on capping pay - and about time too!

    The excuse given is that soccer players have a shortened working life. So what? So do ALL sportsmen and women. I worked out some time ago that at an average say of £20,000 pa a normal person would earn about £900,000 in their working life. Double that as sport is a specialised skill - even soccer - to get £1.8m. Say a maximum 15 years working life and they *should* be paid £120,000 pa. Where the heck did £8m for the likes of John Terry come from??

  • Comment number 79.

    13. At 12:06pm on 31 Mar 2010, Gom123 wrote:
    "No because:
    1.Sky took the risk of bidding for the sport TV rights
    2.The others did not bid for the sports TV rights or did not bid enough and are now complaining.
    3.Sky should stop selling to the other TV companies and let them bid for the TV rights themselves."

    You miss the point Gom123 - the other broadcasters such as BBC & ITV CANNOT COMPETE WITH SKY because BSkyB has become as close as you can legally get to a monopoly these days. If Sky are continually allowed to take more events which cannot be shown on freeview because they have much bigger bank balance and more influence, then they will be able to charge what they want to customers with impunity, and to an extent they already do this - why do customers who already pay for the top TV package then have to pay another £10-£15 to watch 'premium sporting events' such as big boxing matches?? It's a complete rip-off, but you have no choice but to pay for it if you want to watch it.

  • Comment number 80.

    I think its up to sky how much they charge. If the sports mad folks of the UK want to sit glued to their plasma screens watching sky sports well thats also up to them. There are far worse things people can pay for to sit and watch on tv.

  • Comment number 81.


    They would have to, HYS host - surely this is obvious. If income drops and players pay stays the same the club goes bankrupt.

    Simple arithmetic - even Alistair Darling can understand that one.

  • Comment number 82.

    I fail to see what right Ofcom or the EU have to dictate business practice. The law of supply and demand is relevant not some half baked body appointed by the Government.

    Personally I do not watch Sky Sports but that is my choice. If I want to watch it I pay. How much I am willing to pay is up to me. If the companies want the content, they have to pay the market rate. If none of them take it, the price will fall, if they all take it, the price will rise.

    This is akin to the infamous ruling about Microsoft abusing their monoply position by supplying viewers and browsers for free. The effect has simply been that I, the consumer, pay more. That is good?

  • Comment number 83.

    If you don't care about sports, or sky sports subscriptions - why are you commenting? The "I have a life" comment made me laugh. Enough of a life to comment on a subject you have no interest in? Good one. Anyway my personal take on it is that english football, guinness premiership rugby, and cricket in particular have all had somewhat of a renaissance since sky tv. As an avid sport follower I could take the, somewhat selfish, argument of expecting it to be cheaper so I could take advantage of it. However looking at the bigger picture a lot of these sports have relied upon the tv rights as a major income. I prefer the fact that these sports have more to invest. As has been said previously it is a subscription service, that is entirely optional. If I had the money and wanted to spend it that way it would be my personal choice (I notice that this government doesnt seem to like that term). As for the "well they are paid too much anyway" argument, just take a little glance at an economics book. Page 1 - supply and demand. People who are interested in sport spend whatever they do spend on it. If these wages arent paid, all the top stars play elsewhere. How many of you will be cheering for england this summer? Well having a league that is so strong is beneficial to the england team. English (and scottish/welsh/irish) players benefit from playing with and against the best players in the world week in, week out. The fans get to watch the best players strutting their stuff. If sky tv money is required to keep the leagues as strong as they are, fine by me. People can spend if they want, not if they dont. Restricting sky payments to sport smacks of the politics of envy, and is the worst kind of socialism. One final point - sport should be used more in schools and local communities for health benefits, social benefits, community benefits. Having strong leagues increases peoples desire, and in turn benefits society at large.

  • Comment number 84.

    I think Sky Sports should cost more.

    Seriously though, the channels operate as part of a company that takes risks buying rights in the free market, assuming a certain level of income over the period of the rights (due to set wholesale and domestic pricing) and therefore shouldn't have to answer to Ofcom in the same way the BBC do. Note that the new rules only apply to Sky Sports 1 and 2, not 3 and 4, and not the HD channels, so what you're going to see in the future is matches between the big four in the Premier League, and other showpiece events being shown on these unregulated channels in order to protect their investment.

    I'm no Sky lover or BBC hater by the way, but I'm against intervention by Ofcom in what is supposed to be a free market purely because companies like Virgin Media and BT complain that Sky's prices are too high. Sky invest in their content and should be able to choose the wholesale prices.

    Each platform needs to play to it's strenghts rather than relying on cheap Sky Sports and Sky Movies to entice customers. VOD, HD, triple and quad play offerings, exclusive premium content etc - these innovations should be exploited much more by Sky's competition to show potential customers that offerings other than Sky have their merits

  • Comment number 85.

    As a Sky subscriber I'm quite happy to pay what Sky currently charge, they invest heavily in sport and provide a quality service which I like many are willing to pay for, and in my opinion I get value for money even though I only watch for the main part the Football. You would be hard pushed to get one ticket to a premier league match for the cost of a months subscription to the Sports Package.

    Why should Sky have to give their products away cheaply to competitors, the pay tv market will just end up like the telecoms where you can get the same products from multipal providers and the main thing to suffer is customer service! Sky will want to recoup the money lost so call centres will end up over seas and who knows what else but it'll always be the customer who loses out.

  • Comment number 86.

    I cannot believe comments like those from RegalPhoenix regarding comparable value with the Beeb.

    Sky do not deserve a place at the same table as the Beeb. Other than Sport and News, Sky make virtually no other programmes - their content is almost exclusively bought in.
    Their top programme making talent on Sport is all ex BBC and their newsroom is a who's who of ex ITN journalistic talent.

    The License fee is about the best value for money it is possible to get in the entertainment world. To get all Sky's packages, you need to spend at least three times as much .. and still get a lot lot less.
    Where else, for about 50p per day, would you get 4 channels of TV, 7 of radio plus this excellent website?
    They make less - that is because we should be paying about three times as much to give them the money to do so - but they still make the best quality drama, documentaries and radio programming in the world.

  • Comment number 87.

    Actually, this ruling has nothing to do with sport/entertainment? Sky are losing money because savvy consumers are fed up with paying for rubbish they pay for already. Sky and Rupert Murdoch, welcome the Ofcom decision - even though, SKY in public, will 'pretend' to fight this ruling? There will be rotten deals, behind closed doors, to destroy or buy the BBC that is a thorn in the side for Rupert Murdoch?

    Don't EVER forget folks that Rupert Murdoch, media mogul runs: SKY and many other subsiduary companies, GLOBALLY, that operate under license from Murdoch companies: huge numbers of gambling channels; endless porn channels? PLUS ....

    Murdoch is backing and funding the Conservative Party who, perhaps, have shaken hands on dismantling the advertisment free and publicly-owned BBC? PLUS, .... we can all fill in the blanks right now that Rupert Murdoch would like to block?

  • Comment number 88.

    Everyone seems to think that Sky have an exclusive on football.

    I watch all the highlights of the Premier League and the Football league on Saturday & Sunday on BBC. ITV are covering the FA Cup, and both European competitions get loads of coverage on ITV channels.

    Everybody can watch Arsenal v Barcelona live on ITV tonight for free.

    Why on earth do we need Sky?

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm not for bodies telling companies how to run their business. However, I do think Sky is missing a massive gap in the market to tap up potential customers who simply want the sky sports channels and not the 800+ channels of absolute garbage you have to buy on top.

    If they offered a sport package at a fraction of the price without the other rubbish, I'd get it in an instant.

  • Comment number 90.

    I pay for Sky sports......I have to in order to watch Super League. Unfortunately I have to pay for all the other sports I never watch.
    But because of my working hours I am not able to go to games regularly.
    I would like them to seperate out the sports - so that I can just pay for what I watch

  • Comment number 91.

    "Should Sky Sports cost less ?

    I wonder how many people will say "No, I think it should cost more." ?"

    No, I think it should cost more. ;)

    especially the football should cost much much more :)

  • Comment number 92.

    I left Sky a few months back bacause of bad service and broken promises. They seem to be more about making the money and less about the quality of service and support. Reducing the cost of Sky Sports is one of the many things they can do especally since there are alot more adverts on their premium channels nowadays. I have many other issues with Sky.

  • Comment number 93.

    Yes it should cost less, sport has got exceedingly greedy because of the likes of sky, regulators should be equally vigilant with others, such as the water companies, why should the people of Plymouth pay fivefold as much for the same commodity as London?

  • Comment number 94.

    I'm torn on this one. Anything that prices the dreaded sport off the major free channels is fine by me - there's too much of it on them anyway, especially football - but on the other hand I wouldn't want to see more money going into Murdoch's pockets.

  • Comment number 95.

    Again OFCOM are looking in the wrong areas. Instead of bashing Sky over the head with the threat of reduced revenue they should be looking at how to increase the competition. This can be done in several ways, including securing funding (from Sky, BBC & other sources maybe) for increased cable coverage. We have a stupid situation where BT are digging up the road and laying fibre to street cabinets in their nationwide FTTC roll-out but this doesn't include a provision for shared ownership/shared ducting for companies such as Virgin cable to use as well.

    OFCOM need to look at how the BBC Tax/License & Sky's revenue is used and whether some money can be spent on trialling technologies such as delivery of services over telephone cable (from fibre in the street cabinet) - what about all the money which goes to the government for a broadcast license (which Sky etc have to pay) - why isn't that being invested in other delivery technologies & competition?

  • Comment number 96.

    The Sky subscription costs about £1 per day with sports. The range of sports and quality of camera work is second to none if the commentators can be somewhat irritating. I think this is a fair price. If Rupert Murdoch, whatever one thinks of him as a person, had not gambled massive amounts of money, TV in the UK would still be about four channels. I do not begrudge him a fair return as that is what free markets are about.

    I would like it if the sports and movies packages could be bought independently of the 60-odd channels of pure dross that one has to buy as a basic package and never watches but I understand the marketing of the present arrangement. I always have the choice of not buying the product if I don't like it.

    I object more to the idea of a compulsory licence fee propping up the ugly edifice that is the modern BBC.

  • Comment number 97.

    Sky Sports as a company has every right to make a profit for it's shareholders. Sky has to pay a huge sum to cover football. It takes a huge risk as football seems intent on it's own financial self-distruction. Other companies have a choice of either paying what Sky ask for or not providing Sky channels. If they disagree stongly enough there is nothing stopping them bidding against Sky and providing their own service. Doesn't OFCOM understand the concept of competitor?

  • Comment number 98.

    It is unwarranted interference on the part of Ofcom. Sky do what they do well, and if they get more sports exclusives or early film releases than their competitors it is hardly fair for competing commercial broadcasters to whine... it's called COMPETITION for a reason.

    If you think Sky costs too much, then don't buy a subscription. I find they provide a good service and value for the channels I do want (which don't happen to include sport as nobody in this house cares to watch it), so I subscribe.

    Likewise, other broadcasters/distributors have to make a commercial decision - is the cost of what they wish to show more than the value to their provision? If they feel that they really, really need that sports exclusive repurchase from Sky, then they should pay for it. If they don't think that the cost will bring a good return in advertising revenue and/or subscriptions to their service, then they don't buy. Basic business, that.

  • Comment number 99.

    Sky are in this game to make money. If you don't like the price don't pay then they will have to reduce their prices.
    I'm sick to death of being quoted higher prices from them for there services as an existing customer than what they are offering a new customer.

  • Comment number 100.

    Of course it should. Beckham & Rooney and all their pals don't get paid nearly enough.

    Plus it will stop poor people from swearing about sport as they won't be able to afford to see it.

    Winners all round it seems to me.


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