Sky Sports and BT Sport price announcements 'disappointing', says BBPA

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Subscription costs: BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds has described price hikes as 'a blow' to pubs
Subscription costs: BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds has described price hikes as 'a blow' to pubs
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has expressed disappointment that Sky Sports and BT Sport have announced price increases above inflation, despite acknowledging that both broadcasters are “very supportive” of the industry.

Both Sky Sports and BT Sport, which will respectively broadcast 128 and 52 Premier League games per season as of the 2019-20 campaign, made announcements regarding their pricing alongside the introduction of new training tools for licensees and commitments to expanded programming.

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, BT Sport, the rights holder to Champions League football, announced​ that it would be increasing its subscription price for pubs by 4.9% alongside the launch of a partnership with Google Digital Garage to provide licensees with expert digital help.

Sky Sports announced that “no pub or club would see a price rise of more than 5%” alongside the news​ that they would be launching a “new range of game-changing support tools”, which includes a new training website for licensees and tools to support pub branding and social media presence.

Commenting on the price increases, BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is disappointing that both Sky Sports and BT Sport have announced increases above inflation.

“This is a blow to pubs who already face considerable cost pressures from elsewhere.

“Both companies are offering more help for licensees. Sky will continue to use 2010 revaluation figures, where these are lower than the rateable value for 2017, and BT will cap increases for all existing customers. Both are offering training for licensees to help them better promote their businesses and are widening when and how much sport is available.

“Both Sky Sports and BT Sport are very supportive of our industry and recognise that live sport continues to be a big draw to the pub.

“For a pub to offer all televised live sport, however, it needs both Sky, BT and perhaps now Amazon. The cost of this for pubs is considerable.”

The price announcements also follow news​ that Amazon will show 20 Premier League matches a season for three years from the 2019-20 campaign after winning one of two previously unsold broadcast packages.

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