BT calls for Ofcom action over Sky

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BT has called on Ofcom to broaden its Digital Communications Review to address what it says are competition concerns in the UK pay-TV market.

John Petter, chief executive of BT's consumer division, has called on the communications regulator to tackle Sky's dominance.

It comes after Sky called in March for BT to be broken up.

Ofcom said as part of its review that it welcomed "evidence and analysis from all parties".

It said that its first digital sector review since 2005 was "broader than our telecoms review 10 years ago" and that an update on this work to date would be published later this month.

In a speech to the Broadcasting Press Guild, Mr Petter cited what he said were "high prices and poor outcomes for consumers" arising from a lack of competition in pay-TV.

"Whereas in the energy market regulators have criticised the Big Six operators, in pay-TV Sky has a 64% share, so there is really only the Big One," he said.

He added: "Switching in pay-TV is 50% lower than the levels seen in broadband, so it is clear we just aren't seeing the right levels of competition for Sky."

However, a Sky spokesman said: "The reality is that, in a competitive market, customers are choosing Sky in greater numbers and staying with us for longer because of the quality and value that we offer."

They added: "This looks like an attempt to deflect attention from the real problems that exist in broadband, where consumers are suffering because of BT's underinvestment and there is concern about competition in the future."

In March, Sky called for called for Openreach - the national broadband network - to be taken away from BT ownership as part of the Ofcom review.

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