Trade bodies have told a group of MPs that one of the big issues threatening the viability of community pubs is the cost of Sky Sports.
Martin Rawlings of the British Beer and Pub Association raised the issue at the end of his talk to the Community Pubs Inquiry yesterday.
Rawlings told the MPs that the recent World Cup had shown how well pubs could do if they could show major sporting events.
Sky charges have gone up so much over the years, way above inflation.Martin Rawlings, BBPA.
He added: "Sky charges have gone up so much over the years, way above inflation - as have players' wages - and we feel we are paying these wages.
"What we hear now is that while the packages are to be split for home use, pubs are only going to be offered a package through Sky."
"We are worried about the fees because we, as an industry, don't have any process to negotiate with the supplier."
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Nick Bish, added: "The Sky issue drills right back to the community issue. So many pubs went into this when it was a fairly low premium for access to sport.
"To be fair to Sky, the product is very good, but community pubs dare not exit and that's the problem.
"They are fearful of their trade going down the road to competitors."
"We had great hopes of the EU driven split but Sky and Setanta have just cemented it back together."