Virgin Media has asked the regulator Ofcom to take the unprecedented step of pausing the auction of Premier League television rights.
Virgin has filed an ”application for interim measures” with Ofcom to use its powers to temporarily halt the decision process for which broadcasters get the rights to air live top-flight UK football matches.
Last autumn Virgin asked Ofcom to look into the the increasig cost of Premier League football rights, warning of “significant consumer harm” if the current process continued unchecked. It claimed fans were being asked to pay over the odds to watch live football. Ofcom’s decision is due in March but Virgin has now filed an application for the auction to be halted . Virgin said: “If the auction continues unchecked, Ofcom’s ability to act will be prejudiced and it will likely be 2019 until the next opportunity to reign-in the rampant inflation in prices for viewers.”