Pay TV Sports ~ BT plc v Ofcom, BSkyB, FAPL, Virgin Media et al [2014] EWCA Civ 133

17 Mar 2014

Ligia Osepciu

In the latest judgment in the Pay TV Sports litigation, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that section 316 of the Communications Act 2003 empowers Ofcom to impose on holders of Broadcasting Act licences conditions relating not only to competition in the production of content, but also to competition in the transmission of such content to the public. The Court of Appeal has proposed to remit for further consideration by the Competition Appeal Tribunal the question of whether Ofcom was justified in imposing on Sky a wholesale-must offer licence condition in respect of it premium sports channels in this particular case. This is the first (and, thus far, only) instance in which Ofcom has sought to exercise its section 316 powers.

Jon Turner QC and Gerry Facenna acted for BT in the appeal, Meredith Pickford acted for Sky and Josh Holmes acted for Ofcom. Ben Lask also acted for Ofcom in the CAT.