Life can be pretty expensive for a sports fan. The problem has always been that there are several channels vying for the rights to broadcast all the sports. The offshoot of this is that they are not all in the same place. Take the football (soccer) for instance. In the UK if you want to watch all the televised premier league games you need access to both Sky Sports and BT sports who share the rights.
A package with either BT or Sky including their sports packages comes in at over £40 a month. That’s a fair bit of quiche. Especially when you consider that doesn’t factor in your TV license. And bear in mind that only gives you access to half of the live matches. Frustrating if you have BT but your beloved Liverpool are on Sky Sports.
You could add both sports channels to your TV subscription if you were a Virgin Media viewer but that in itself was extremely expensive, potentially taking you TV subscription into a monthly sum with three digits. That is a lot of outlay just to see 22 guys kick around an inflated ball of leather. Plus Virgin doesn’t have access to all of Sky Sports meaning you still didn’t have access to a lot of content.
All those side channels
Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a fan of pro-wrestling you have the WWE Network. There are separate subscription services allowing the discerning viewer to access things like the NHL or the NFL. If you chose to go extracurricular with these sports then you outlay for sports TV could top the £200 a month mark and that is assuming that you don’t decide to watch any of them at the pub because we all know how quickly the cost mounts when that happens!
The rise of streaming sports
Enter Amazon who signed a deal to stream some of the Premier League matches over the festive period and it was, as a sports fan…an inspired move. The novelty of being able to make your selection from any of the live matches was a game-changer. What was even more special was being able to finish one match and switch straight to another. It was a football fans dream, but it has spurred a rather dramatic reaction from two of the UK’s biggest sports broadcasters.
Talk of the town
There had been rumblings for a while about a merger between Sky Sports and BT Sports. The idea of the two heavyweights combining forces had been mooted for a while. Even so, when it was announced that they would be combining in order to offer all of their services on a single platform it was still an announcement that has caused a certain amount of shock and a real buzz among sports fans.
So what is the deal?
The package comes in at an impressive £35 a month, or just an extra £25 for existing customers, and will particularly be welcomed by wrestling fans who recently saw the WWE rights move from Sky Sports to BT. The new package gives users access to 12 channels in total as long as the user is willing to sign an 18-month contract.
The future of sports
It will be interesting to see what the impact of this deal is going forward. The next round of negotiations for the rights to Premier League football comes around next year. It will be interesting to see if this “pact” has an impact on those negotiations, whether the two giants will collaborate or if services like Amazon attempt to get a bigger slice of the pie going forward.