Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Does BT Protest Too Much over Sky? IN THE AIR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Does BT Protest Too Much over Sky? IN THE AIR

Article excerpt

Byline: BY GIDEON SPANIER

BT IS so upset rival BSKYB is refusing to run some of its ads for its new pay-TV sports channels that it has complained to regulator Ofcom. But does the telecoms giant have a decent case? I understand the issue of Sky not running some of BT's ads is not new. It dates back at least until 2011 when BT first got the rights to carry Sky Sports channels. But the stakes are higher now, after BT's decision to buy its own Premier League football rights for [pounds sterling]738 million. BT has asked Ofcom if Sky's refusal to carry the ads breaches rules about "no undue discrimination between advertisers". Sky insists it has the right to refuse the ads. And one leading (impartial) media buyer agrees: "It's a bit like Tesco being able to advertise inside Sainsbury's. Given how much Sky paid for the exclusive rights, they must be able to protect their investment." The buyer adds that BT "can reach 100% of the audience" by using other channels to advertise.

FORMER banker Sir James Crosby, who has asked to be stripped of his knighthood, has a media past. His now-tarnished period as chief executive of HBOS coincided with a spell as nonexecutive director of ITV from 2005 to 2009. Leaving aside the question of whether he should have had a part-time job at all while running a major bank, it was not the most successful time in ITV's history, as the board clashed with bosses Charles Allen and Michael Grade.

THE tributes to Margaret Thatcher prompted some unexpected coverage, if only because some articles were written years ago, including a piece by the late Guardian columnist Hugo Young, who penned it just before his own death in 2003. Peter Oborne also made a surprise appearance in his former paper, the Daily Mail, with a piece written before he moved to the Daily Telegraph. The BBC political editor Nick Robinson wrote a bylined obit for the BBC News website which offered a comprehensive take on how Baroness Thatcher both inspired and divided a generation with her "belief" -- although the Beeb man didn't have room to mention his own personal experience as a student activist at Oxford University who went on to be national chairman of the Young Conservatives in the Eighties. …

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