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Virgin Media praises Sky pay TV movie ruling

Friday, August 19th 2011 by Nigel Adie
Ruling on Sky's dominance of pay TV movie market welcomed by Virgin Media

The cable company said Sky has enjoyed a "stranglehold" on the pay TV movie market for too long.

Virgin Media has hailed the Competition Commission's (CC's) claims that Sky currently enjoys too much exclusive control over the pay TV movie market.

The CC's provisional findings, published today (August 19th 2011), said Sky's large customer base gives it an "incumbency advantage" that has so far prevented any of its rivals from successfully bidding for film rights.

Although Sky supplies Virgin Media with Sky Movies, the commission argued that it currently charges too much, meaning the cable company cannot make a business out of selling films to customers.

Responding to the report, Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett said the company has long argued that competition in the pay TV movie sector has been "severely" hampered by "deep-rooted problems".

He expressed satisfaction that the CC has provisionally recognised the harm caused by Sky's "stranglehold" on the market.

"We hope today's findings will lead to a dramatic transformation of the market and allow new compelling services to flourish that give consumers much greater choice of innovative film services," Mr Berkett added.

The CC is inviting responses to its provisional findings by September 16th.

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