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BT criticises Sky over the Pay TV market

The war of words between BT and Sky over Openreach rages on, and this time it was BT's turn to lash out at Sky. According to a Telegraph report, BT submitted a ten yearly review of the telecoms sector, where it criticised Sky. It said that “lop sided” regulations have created an uneven playing field in the pay television market.

Chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “Ofcom has the opportunity to level the playing field by tackling Sky’s dominance of Pay TV. That dominance has led to poor outcomes for UK consumers and it is about time that converged regulation was introduced to deal with a converged market.”

However, Sky is not the one to take a hit without striking back. Andrew Griffith, Sky’s chief financial officer, said it’s just a diversion strategy, to get Ofcom’s mind off Openreach.

“BT mustn’t get away with trying to deflect attention away from the essential debate around the future of broadband,” he said. “It is desperate stuff to draw a comparison between Openreach - a national, un-replicable, infrastructure asset – and pay TV content.”

BT says the current model promotes competition, and argues the fact that Sky and TalkTalk account for around 40 per cent of the retail broadband market.

Sky and TalkTalk are among the providers who would love to see BT and Openreach split. Sky is confident that BT is shackling Openreach and that it would do a much better job on its own.

Ed Vaizey, the Culture minister responsible for the telecoms industry, said in an interview a week ago that taking Openreach out of BT could backfire.

“Separation would be an enormous undertaking, incredibly time consuming [and have] lots of potential to backfire,” he said.