RFL chairman blasts Ofcom inquiry

RFL chairman Richard Lewis has expressed his concerns over the treatment of rugby league by regulatory body Ofcom, after they told Sky it must cut its prices.

Ofcom’s three-year inquiry concluded that Sky must reduce the price it charges rival cable, terrestrial and internet broadcasters to show its premium sports channels, Sky Sports 1 and 2.

In a statement, Lewis said: “The RFL is extremely disappointed, both with Ofcom’s decision and the flawed process by which they have reached their conclusions.

“We feel our views have been ignored by Ofcom and are dismayed by the scant regard they have for the welfare of the sport.

“Ofcom’s consultation with the sporting national governing bodies appears to have been an afterthought. We were informed by Ofcom that they would speak to us again prior to making their announcement but we have not heard from them.

“The RFL was not contacted until the third and final stage of the process, by which point Ofcom appears to have reached the fundamental conclusions of their inquiry.

“We are not persuaded that the measures proposed by Ofcom are in the best interests of Rugby League, sport or the wider public.

“This decision has the potential to adversely affect the amount of money Rugby League can secure for television rights and that in turn will decrease the investment the sport makes in its grass roots.

“We will be examining Ofcom’s findings in detail with our legal advisers and considering our response in due course.”

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