Page 5: Key sporting events
Sky’s major sporting contracts include:
Football - to the end of 2000-01
- Exclusive live coverage of the FA Carling Premiership (60 games per season).
- Live coverage of the FA Cup from Round One to the Semi-Final (at least one tie and one replay from each round).
- Exclusive live coverage of England internationals at home.
- Exclusive live coverage of the Ryder Cup in 1997 and 1999.
- Exclusive live coverage of all four days of the US Open 1996-1999.
- Exclusive live coverage of the European Super League.
- All England internationals played at Twickenham, live until the end of 2001-2.
- All England tour matches in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa live until the end of 2006.
Marketing and sales
Sky’s sports acquisitions provide tremendous opportunity to build the Sky brand and drive new subscriptions for Sky TV. The marketing and advertising campaigns capitalise on the strength of these events, using imagery and personalities through a range of media - including posters, press advertising, radio, cinema and television.
The marketing campaign that marks the launch of the 1997/98 football season was a good example of how Sky uses sports to drive new subscriptions. The campaign was aimed at football fans (over 14 million in the UK according to TGI research) and demonstrated how Sky understands football as well as the fans. The multi-media campaign across posters, press, radio and cinema was highly integrated to ensure consistency and impact.
Pay Per View is currently the most hotly debated and controversial subject in UK television. It is the system whereby existing subscribers pay an additional charge, over and above their normal monthly subscription, to watch a specific event. To date, Sky TV has only shown boxing matches on a Pay Per View basis (now the promoters, Don King and Frank Warren, will not sell the broadcast rights on any other basis). The Pay Per View system is well developed in the United States and covers films as well as sporting events. The first PPV event in this country was the Tyson v Bruno boxing match in March 1996. The event cost £9.95 for subscribers booking before Friday night and £14.95 afterwards. It was extremely successful as over 650,000 Sky subscribers bought into this fight which was broadcast in the early hours of Sunday morning.