Sky news update: pressure on BT to reach a deal for sports coverage that will allow the companies to broadcast on the other’s platform has been increased.
Since losing the bid for coverage of the Champions League to BT for £897million, BSkyB have been pushing to get BT to sign a wholesale deal that will mean Sky can make BT’s channels available to their viewers, and vice versa for BT.
Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB’s chief executive, has made it clear that he would like an agreement to be reached as soon as possible so that the two companies can move forward with their respective sports coverage.
Despite losing the Champions League deal, Sky Sports offer their customers extensive coverage through their flagship channels: Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, 4, News and F1. All of these offer their individual specialist sport depending on the season but will leave no customer dissatisfied with the coverage they receive. For example, The Ashes is featured uninterrupted and in all of its wonderful grudging competitive nature throughout November, December and January.
The idea behind Sky’s pressure on BT is to allow all customers across the UK to receive an unparalleled level of sports coverage. Essentially there will be no sport that goes uncovered but not only that, between them Sky and BT should be able to offer exclusive, uninterrupted coverage of any competition in any of the sports they dedicate their time to.
For just over a year now, Sky and BT have had their horns locked over broadband customers and part of both companies’ offers revolve around having access to their sports channels as a perk for customers who choose to enter into a broadband deal.
Unfortunately though reports have confirmed in recent weeks that no progress has been made with regards to what they are calling a “wholesale” deal. The main problem appears to reside with BT and their reluctance to have a two-way deal allowing Sky to broadcast on their platform, despite receiving the same benefits for themselves. BT have spent nearly £2bn on ensuring the sports coverage that they offer is exclusive for their customers; to then allow for it to be broadcast elsewhere would defeat the object.
It was reported, by BT, that they have been in talks with Sky to offer customers who buy into their YouView service the chance to view a range of Sky channels but this has not been addressed as of yet. What happens will next, it is almost certain, will be closely monitored and customers will be notified of any significant changes.
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