BSkyB's customers to pay 5% more



From January next year, BSkyB customers will have to pay five per cent more on their satellite TV subscription. The increase may be seen as provocative by regulators at the European Commission. Brussels is investigating the £1billion (E1.4 billion) that Sky has paid to renew its exclusive rights to screen English Premier League football. The Commission has suggested that the high cost of the deal may be harmful to consumers, who must subscribe to Sky to watch the games. The cost of Sky World, the package taken by more than half the subscribers, will rise from £38 to £40 (E56) a month. The basic "family pack" will increase from £18.5 (E26) to £19.5 (E27) a month. This is the fourth consecutive year that Sky has raised its price Justifying the move, a spokesman for Sky said: "We continue to make very significant investments, providing new programmes, new services and new channels."

He said that for the financial year ended June 2003, Sky had raised its spending on content by 11 per cent to £1.6 billion (E2.24 billion). The new football deal was an added programming cost.