BT may challenge High Court ruling on Sky Sports price hike

BT is considering whether to appeal a decision that allows Sky to charge telecoms providers high prices for its premium sports channels.

CEO Ian Livingstone told a conference in Barcelona that he was "minded to appeal" a High Court decision which overturned an Ofcom ruling that mandated that Sky offer its premium sports channels at wholesale prices to competitors.

BT has until 26 November to appeal, a move that could re-open the five-year battle between regulators and Sky over how much it charges its rivals. BT currently pays a 'wholesale must offer' price of £19.07 a month per customer for Sky Sports 1 and 2, which it feels is too high considering that it then retails these two channels to its customers at a lower price.

BT plans to launch its own sports channel in 2013 after spending £900 million on sports rights last year. The planned channel will show 38 Premier League games next season. BT is still considering whether to give access to Sky customers.

Andrew Griffith, chief financial officer at BSkyB, said that the company remained committed to wholesale prices, reiterating that the firm's objective has always been "to distribute content as widely as possible" for a "fair value". He also said Sky would consider buying BT's new planned sports channel using the same wholesale process.

"The whole market is waiting to hear from BT," he said.