Licensee calls for Sky boycott over latest price increase

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Related tags: Cent increase, Sky sports

A Scottish licensee is calling for a country-wide boycott of Sky after the latest increase in subscription costs. Stuart Allan, licensee of the...

A Scottish licensee is calling for a country-wide boycott of Sky after the latest increase in subscription costs.

Stuart Allan, licensee of the Craighlaw Arms in Kirkcowan, is angry that he has to pay a £150 charge for the Premiership Plus package of extra football matches on top of a 12.5 per cent increase in his basic commercial subscription.

Mr Allen said: "Last year the cost of the extra matches was £80, so this is an 87.5 per cent increase. We should boycott Sky until it introduces a realistic pricing policy."

A spokeswoman for Sky defended the increase. "Last year the Premiership Plus Season Ticket was offered at a substantially discounted rate on a promotional basis. This year, at £3.75 per game it still offers exceptional value for money."

The additional package of matches was launched last year to increase the number of games shown by Sky in the face of a competing offer of live games from ITV Digital. With the ITV service shut down, Sky is once again the only source of live Premiership football for pubs.

"Our average commercial price increase this year is 12 per cent, reflecting the rising costs of our programming, particularly the costs associated with live soccer," said the spokeswoman. "There are 66 live matches as part of the basic package." She added that the World Cup had shown the value of live football to pubs.

But Mr Allan said not all pubs could generate the trade necessary to justify the cost.

"Larger pubs, particularly in England, can show significant benefits from these matches. Small pubs may benefit from a small minority of the additional matches but will struggle to recover the investment," he said.

Related topics: Licensing law

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