In the eternal war between BT and Sky, the weight of the advantage seems to constantly shift from one foot to another. Just as Sky scored a greater share of the Premier League matches from the 2016 series onwards, BT got rights to the Champions League, EUROPA League and a whole host of top flight European competition like the Bundesliga and Serie A. Needless to say, it's not a war that either side want to lose, because with dominance comes a fantastic reason to sign up for their service. Today, Sky have announced that they've once again gained the upper hand with an exclusive deal to broadcast highlight clips of Premier League games.
The clips are available almost instantly after they've happened live and will cover every single Premier League match from the 2016-17 series for three years, regardless of whether they're originally broadcast on BT or Sky. The clips will be made available to both mobile and online users and Sky are planning on packaging these clips together in packages which will include in-match content and highlights. Because of the TV rights deal, Sky cannot show these clips on broadcast television. As part of the deal, Sky Sports has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with News UK which will see clips being made available across The Sunday Times, The Times and The Sun on their digital services, giving their readers the chance to see the clips and giving Sky vital exposure to potential customers.
Over the last few years, Sky's digital services have gone from a sidenote to their TV work to an integral part of the Sky experience. In sports alone, they now have dedicated applications which can let you catch up on news, view live events, comment and even get live, real time information about games that you're watching on TV. Today, there are over 35 million users a month accessing Sky Sports' digital media services and you can only assume that the addition of Premier League highlights from all 380 matches each season will only work to entice further customers to the service.
Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “Sky Sports is the home of the Premier League and this will allow us to offer our customers even more content across mobile and online. The way people watch sport is changing rapidly and this agreement ensures Sky Sports will continue to offer the best coverage across TV, mobile, online and social media. However they choose to watch, our customers will have all the defining moments from the Premier League at their fingertips for years to come.”
Mike Darcey, CEO, News UK, said: "We are delighted to be teaming up with Sky Sports for this exclusive distribution partnership, which gives us the green light to continue bringing Premier League clips to our engaged customers for another three years.
“It was a competitive process with lots of interest from across the industry, which is testament to the innovation displayed by, and intuitive marketing campaigns created by, teams at News UK since first winning the rights in 2013. This new partnership with Sky Sports will undoubtedly bring a better product to market for our customers.”
This latest news, whilst fantastic for Sky, shouldn't rock too many boats at BT. They've just relaunched their Sport service four new channels and even an Ultra-HD box, meaning that for the first time ever there's a 4K TV service in the UK, beating Sky to the post. Nevertheless, with the advertising revenue that can be made from inserting an advert before those near-live football clips, you can be sure that this deal will see Sky right for a good while yet.
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