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Broadcasters ‘behaving like kids’ in costs row

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Following the row between BSkyB and Virgin Media over TV rights and higher fees, the National Consumer Council (NCC) may ask for a review of the digital television network.

Virgin Media pulled some of the BSkyB channels it shows as the Wednesday deadline passed with no resolution in sight. The NCC said that the two broadcasters had “behaved like children” and confirmed it was considering an official complaint.

Philip Cullem, deputy chief executive of the NCC, told BBC Radio Five Live: “At the end of the month we will make a decision about putting in the super-complaint that will help knock heads together.

“It’s time to get them back round a table – let’s have a common sense solution and one that puts customers first rather than all this posturing between two rather big media companies.”

Viewers’ screens went blank on Wednesday night, although Virgin Media claimed it had made “continued efforts” to strike a deal with Sky. It also said that Sky had refused independent arbitration.

“We were disappointed but not surprised at this unsatisfactory outcome,” said Virgin Media chief executive Steve Burch.

“Nothing Sky has said or done in the course of the negotiation indicates they have the slightest interest in doing a commercially viable deal.”







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