Cable group Virgin Media has threatened to take its dispute with pay-TV rival BSkyB to the high court if the warring companies fail to strike a deal over the next month. Virgin, which has 3.3 million cable TV customers, claims Sky, with 8.4 million subscribers to its satellite service, is guilty of “abuse of dominance” for pulling its basic channels such as Sky One its cable network. The cable operator said it would take the dispute over distributing Sky’s channels to the high court if it is not settled within 30 days.

“Following Sky’s withdrawal of its basic channels from Virgin Media’s TV service, Virgin Media has formally advised Sky that it will pursue action in the high court if their carriage disputes are not resolved within 30 days,” Virgin Media said in a statement.
“This comes on the heels of Sky’s rejection of an offer by Virgin Media to have the matter resolved through legally binding arbitration by an independent expert.” Virgin said it would seek damages if the dispute is not resolved, adding that it wanted to pay a “reasonable commercial rate” for Sky’s channels. Virgin Media is also seeking to renegotiate the deal to have its own channels, including Living TV, distributed on Sky’s digital satellite service.

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By Expat