Ofcom examines Premier League rights sales

The investigation follows a complaint from Virgin Media, which was submitted to Ofcom - the regulator and competition authority for UK communications industries - in September


Ofcom announced an investigation will take place, saying that under the Competition Act "Ofcom may conduct an investigation where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is an agreement which has as its object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the UK and/or the EU".

Virgin Media had complained that not enough Premier League matches are made available for live screening - in most of the rest of Europe all top-flight games are available to watch on TV.

Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, said it understood the importance of 3pm kick-offs on Saturdays to fans and will be speaking to supporters' groups.

The Premier League is due to hold its next auction of broadcast rights in the new year but this is unlikely to be affected to much by the Ofcom action as its investigations can take several years.

The Ofcom statement added: "Ofcom is mindful of the likely timing of the next auction of live UK audio-visual media rights, and is open to discussion with the Premier League about its plans.

"Ofcom understands that the scheduling of football games is important to many football fans, in particular attending 3pm kick-offs on Saturdays

The investigation will take this into account and Ofcom plans to approach the Football Supporters' Federation and certain other supporters' groups to understand their views."

Source : PA

Source: PA