ONdigital demands BSkyB break-up

06 July 2000

ONdigital, the digital terrestrial television service owned by Carlton Communications and Granada, has called for rival pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB to be broken up. The call comes in ONdigital’s submission to an Office of Fair Trading review of the Murdoch-owned company.

ONdigital argues that BSkyB has "consistently and systematically abused its dominant market position". It estimates that BSkyB has subsidised its distribution arm by up to £2.5 billion over the last five years, thereby allowing BSkyB to offer its subscription channels below market rates. The Office of Fair Trading is expected to publish its findings in the summer.

Separately, it is reported that BSkyB is interested in buying a stake in Granada Media, which would give the company a foothold in UK free-to-air terrestrial broadcasting. Current regulation on cross-media ownership prevents such a move.

Financial Times