Sky Sports Update: BT Rivals Sky

Sky face rival in form of BT Sport

The most recent Sky Sports update revolves around their new broadcasting rival BT Sport.

Sky reign over all at the moment when it comes to broadcasting sport in the UK. However, having fought off Disney-owned ESPN earlier this year they now face a new challenge in the form of BT Sport.

The three new channels, offered free to all of BT’s broadband customers promise to ‘give the national sport back to the nation’, assuring their customers that all 38 Premier League matches will be broadcast live.

In conjunction with Liberty Global owned Virgin Media, BT do pose a serious threat to Sky as while the latter have, in the past year, secured themselves predominant coverage of F1 for instance, the coverage of football still focused upon less than the other sports.

It has become clear over the previous year that marketing is where the major battle will happen; between them these two companies have spent approximately £560m in UK advertising in 2012. BT have stated that they intend to spend £30m promoting BT Sport between now and December.

Ambassadors for BT Sport such as key presenter Jake Humphrey and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand have been encouraged to promote the channel through social media such as Twitter but BT have confirmed that this source of promotion is ‘natural’ as opposed to ‘contractual’.

The idea with this form of promotion is to send awareness of the new channels skyrocketing. The channels will work in conjunction with the broadband aspect of BT in order to bring in more customers – having one will benefit the other as it were. BT will be looking to push their broadband sales in light of the free sport channels that come as part of the package.

Andy Kenny, managing director at brandRapport said that BT’s quintessential Britishness will work with the vivacity that BT Sport promises to inject into the brand.

When, in 2010, BT began offering SkySports packages on their BT Vision platform, Sky retaliated with a proposition which upstaged BT’s. And they will be looking to do the same thing in this instance. BT’s current line-up revolves around the Premier League, domestic rugby and women’s tennis and this has forced critics to question whether the line-up is good enough to challenge Sky. The latter’s line-up this summer boasts the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of Australia, live coverage of International cricket including every Ashes match and the ICC Champions Trophy.

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