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UK regulator to probe BSkyB over sports channel supply

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's telecom regulator said on Wednesday that it would launch an investigation into satellite TV firm BSkyB over the wholesale supply of its sports channels after a complaint by Sky's increasingly bitter rival BT.

Ofcom said the probe would center on BT's claims that the terms on which Sky offered its sports channels, Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2, to BT's YouView platform amounted to an abuse of Sky's market dominance.

BT has complained to Ofcom that Sky is making the supply of the two channels conditional on BT making its own sports channels available to Sky for retail on Sky's platform.

"Sky considers BT's latest complaint to be entirely without merit. We look forward to engaging constructively with Ofcom," BSkyB said in a statement.

The two companies have evolved into competitors, after BT said earlier this year it would launch sports channels and following BSkyB's expansion into BT's territory by offering broadband and telephone services in recent years.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)