BT has described Ofcom's ruling on Pay TV – which will force Sky to sell its two main sports channels to rivals at prices set by the watchdog – as 'disappointing, but a step in the right direction."

BT raised complaints against Sky's handling of premium content and the wholesale rates they charged their rivals for access to movies and the likes of Premiership football, and had a large part to play in Ofcom's decision to investigate.

However, the media giant believes that the media watchdog should not have ducked the issue over movies by referring it up to the Competition Commission, and should have been made to offer all of its sports at rates set by Ofcom.

"Today's decision from Ofcom is disappointing but a step in the right direction," said Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive Officer, BT Retail.

"We will at last be able to sell two premium sports channels. We aim to offer Sky Sports1 and 2 at lower prices than those which have been available.

"We hope to bring them to the market in time for the new Premiership football season but that will depend on Sky now complying with Ofcom's decision."

Criticism

"However, Ofcom should have gone much further than it did," added Patterson.

"They have dropped movie channels, which should have been included.

"They should have included all Sky Sports channels, not just two.

"The wholesale price for the two sports channels is higher than the regulator had previously suggested.

"Pubs and clubs should also have been offered some help as they have no option but to pay sky high prices.

"Ofcom has not set a regulated price for HD channels.

"Sky may appeal against this decision but Ofcom's remedy should be implemented without delay so that customers can benefit from lower prices."