Live rights market gets more expensive
One of the scenarios favoured by those who think that 'the Premiership bubble will burst' is a fall in prices for live television rights. But the trend seems to be in the opposite direction for both domestic and international rights. BSkyB is paying £2.3bn for 116 matches in the new Premier League three year rights deal, compared with £1.6bn for 115 matches in its current deal. That's a 40 per cent increase.
The managing director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis, told the Leaders in Football Conference in Chelsea that the entry of BT Vision in particular had make the market more competitive. 'It's particularly competitive now, it wasn't particularly competitive two years ago,' he said. 'The market rate depends on how many buyers there are out there. I think the industry has changed so there are lots of prospective buyers out there.
Asked by the Financial Times if BSkyB had begun to focus on the next set of Premier League rights from 2016, he made it clear that Sky was there for the long haul: 'The company has a long-term plan and every director feeds into that.'
He also took a side swipe at BT Vision, telling Sky Sports that he was 'interested' in how BT Vision would manage its newly acquired rights. I think he was using the word 'interesting' in the way that my oldest granddaughter does to indicate scepticism.
Satellite dishes are banned where I live by the local council so I can't get Sky by that route, something their salespersons don't seem to understand. The limitation of the BT offer is that it doesn't include Sky Sports News.