Sky in addition to BT sign channel sharing deal

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The rising cost of sports rights can be behind the agreement, analysts say

Sky in addition to BT have have signed a deal to sell their channels on each different’s platforms.

Under the deal, BT will at This particular point supply its sports channels – which show UEFA Champions League in addition to Premier League football – to Sky.

In addition, BT will be able to sell Sky’s at This particular point TV service – which includes Sky Sports, Sky Cinema in addition to the Sky Atlantic channel – to its customers.

The deal comes as the firms face growing competition through online rivals.

Marc Allera, the chief executive of BT Consumer, told the BBC that will the deal was partly so the firms could join forces against the potential online threat.

“A lot of technology companies are coming into the market with vast budgets, in addition to changing the market. We need to ensure our customers get the best choice,” he said.

He said the deal was a “clear indication” of the importance BT attached to how digital in addition to TV markets were converging, adding the firm might bid fiercely for exclusive content.

Bidding can be due to begin inside the next Premier League football rights auction in February, in addition to digital giants such as Amazon in addition to Facebook could throw their hats inside the ring for streaming rights.

However, Mr Allera said: “I wouldn’t say [the deal with Sky] takes the pressure off at all… we believe in holding exclusive rights.”

BT has spent more than £3.5bn on Champions League in addition to Premier League football rights since 2012 in an attempt to compete with Sky.

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BT has exclusive TV rights for Champions League games until 2021

Sky boss Jeremy Darroch said: “This particular can be great news for Sky customers who will be able to access all matches on Sky in addition to BT channels through the Premier League, UEFA Champions League in addition to Europa League directly with 1 Sky TV subscription.”

The fresh services will be available to BT in addition to Sky customers through early 2019.

Richard Broughton, research director at media analysts Ampere, called the deal “very unusual” however said the item was a consequence of the rising costs of sports rights.

“The fresh rights are up for renewal very soon in addition to This particular can be a pre-emptive shot through both companies to limit their exposure to damage should they not get key rights in addition to also allow them to be a little less aggressive in their bidding.”

Michael Hewson, an analyst with CMC Markets, said the BT-Sky deal seemed better for BT than Sky, “given that will Sky will take BT’s sport content while BT gets Sky’s sports, cinema in addition to Sky Atlantic channel, in addition to could even gain more access to content further down the road”.

‘Huge disruptor’

The big online firms have been part of a seismic shift in how people access content.

On Thursday, Disney announced a deal to buy a large chunk of 21st Century Fox, including its 39% stake in Sky.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch told Sky News he was selling Fox’s entertainment assets in part due to the rise of online giants.

“[Amazon in addition to Netflix] are growth companies… Amazon, I don’t know how much they want to do. They are spending $5bn or $6bn I believe on fresh programmes, however the item’s basically to widen the appeal of [Amazon] Prime.

“Anyone who joins Prime seems to spend about $3,000 immediately on retail… you know, they are a huge disruptor if you look at what they’re doing.”

He said the fresh Fox company that will remained might develop the strength to bid for sports rights, however that will all companies could be “threatened by big nonsensical bids through the likes of Facebook”.

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