My reasoning is not a result of OFCOM's findings (which may ultimately force Sky to make them commercially available...unless Mr Cameron intervenes) but the revelation that Virgin has a very low take up of the standard definition versions of the Sky sports and movies channels (page 8 of the report). Here's an extract - unfortunately the actual numbers were removed because of the commercial sensititivy but the tone is very clear:
[The]relatively low level of penetration of Sky’s Core Premium channels on cable reflects Sky's wholesale price, which disincentivises Virgin Media from marketing these channels. Only [ ]% of cable customers currently purchase premium content, as compared to [ ]% a few years ago, and [ ]% on Sky’s satellite platform. Evidence, including the recent decline in penetration of Core Premium channels on cable indicates that a substantial proportion of Virgin Media customers who do not currently subscribe to Sky’s Core Premium channels may have an interest in doing so, although evidently not at current prices.So you have to ask yourself why would Virgin look to add the Sky Core Premium channels in HD if the majority of existing customers haven't even invested in the SD versions? Sky has a greater percentage of Premium channel subscribers at the same price, so it must be that the VM audience isn't as keen on handing over the extra money, prefering the budget options of Setanta/ESPN and now Picturebox. With the best will in the world, selling HD at a £10 premium is a tough sell on cable without factoring in the extra subs for the standard def channels too (an extra £20 - £30 a month depending on the bundle you're on). Painful though it may be for some to hear, it makes more sense for VM to add other HD channels rather than hunt the biggest game in town.
Sadly, assuming that OFCOM will struggle to get any positive reaction from Sky regardless of its strongly worded report, I think it fair to say that Sky Sports and Movies will not be appearing in HD on cable any time soon. Sorry.