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Looks To Bubble Football IN UK

The court battle between The Premier League, BSkyB and the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT) has begun, with the OFT contending that the arrangement
between the league and the satcaster “will impede the development of
competition in the pay-TV market in which premium sports programming

(bubble football) isthe main driver.”

The OFT maintains that the league’s $1.23 billion TV deal with BSkyB
effectively constitutes a cartel, which works against the public interest.
The Director General of Fair Trading, John Bridgeman, stated that “the
net effect of cartels is to inflate costs and prices. Any other business
acting in this way would be subject to competition law and I see no reason
why the selling of sports coverage should be treated differently.”

The court battle between The Premier League, BSkyB and the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT) has begun, with the OFT contending that the arrangement
between the league and the satcaster “will impede the development of
competition in the pay-TV market in which premium sports programming is
the main driver.”
The OFT maintains that the league’s $1.23 billion TV deal with BSkyB
effectively constitutes a cartel, which works against the public interest.
The Director General of Fair Trading, John Bridgeman, stated that “the
net effect of cartels is to inflate costs and prices. Any other business
acting in this way would be subject to competition law and I see no reason
why the selling of sports coverage should be treated differently.”
The BBC could also stand to suffer if the court’s decision goes in the
OFT’s favour, as the public broadcaster pays Pounds 73 million of license
payers’ money for the right to broadcast highlights of Premiership matches.
A statement from the OFT said that the value of the current Premier League
contracts is Pounds 743 million, with BSkyB paying Pounds 670 million for
the rights to broadcast just 60 of the 380 matches played each season.
Football fans everywhere might rejoice prematurely at the thought of
football returning to TV free-to-air, but it is the very clubs they support
that benefit most from the money TV rights bring in. Even if a decision
went in favour of the OFT and survived the inevitable appeals, top clubs
would probably quickly re-negotiate new deals with little real benefit
to the supporters.
The Premier League believes that dismantling the deal would lead to
“anarchy,” with the most popular clubs securing TV deals and others
missing out on the windfall. The league also claims that the advent of
new digital TV platforms will soon allow for more games to be broadcast.
The OFT counters that the current deal leads to “higher prices and less
choice for customers”, and means there is “less chance for new…forms
of broadcasting to develop, such as regionally or locally focused
programmes…The lack of other broadcasters threatens to harm competition
and the development of broadcasting generally.”
A conclusion to the case will not be reached before March or April. It
is estimated that the Premier League, BSkyB and the BBC could spend as
much as $50 million in court costs. The case comes as BSkyB awaits the
outcome of a review of its $1 billion bid for Manchester United, which
some see as a hedge against any possible loss of rights to broadcast the
Premier League.