Sky's rival broadcaster ITV Digital has reported that it is very pleased with the way the launch of its new commercial package has gone.
Although it will not release actual figures until the end of the quarter in a few weeks, ITV Digital has said the take-up rate of its pub package has been good.
ITV Digital's package does not include as many Premiership matches as Sky's although it does include Champions' League matches and other league games.
Pub operators including Yates's and Scottish & Newcastle Retail have decided to put ITV Digital in some of their outlets and ITV Digital is also concentrating on smaller pub companies and individual licensees.
"With there not being any competition in the market for a decade there was always going to be interest," said spokesman Mark Woods. "We have been received very positively and although there's still a long way to go we couldn't have asked for a better start."
The news follows Sky's latest clampdown on illegal viewings in pubs, which has resulted in publicans being forced to pay thousands of pounds in damages.
Publicans pay thousands in Sky's illegal viewings clampdown (18 September 2001)
Sky announces prices for forthcoming football season (01 August 2001)
Sky faces new blow (06 July 2001)
Sky faces axe over summer (25 June 2001)
ITV to launch new pub sport rival (17 May 2001)