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UK: Ofcom probes sky-high Premier League broadcasting fees

 |  November 18, 2014

UK communications watchdog Ofcom has reportedly launched an investigation into the process to sell the rights to broadcast Premier League soccer matches following concerns and criticism over the cost of those rights.

According to reports, pay-TV conglomerate Virgin Media filed a complaint with Ofcom saying the process for selling broadcasting rights is anticompetitive. Virgin rivals Sky and BT unfairly benefit by obtaining exclusive rights to broadcast some of the most popular matches, the complaint claims.

Ofcom’s investigation of the matter comes just months ahead of the next round of bidding to purchase broadcasting rights. Experts say competition between Sky and BT could cause bidding costs to soar by 60 percent from the $4.7 billion they paid for their current three-year deal, which ends in 2016.

While the probe has the potentially to delay the auction, reports say such a scenario is unlikely as the case could drag on for years.

Full content: Reuters

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