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Premier League rights – Sky costs more than double per game

A quick calculation shows that Sky is charging football fans a lot more per game

So we now know that the Premier League rights for the three seasons starting 2016/17 will be divided up in much the same way as they have over the last couple of years, with Sky taking the lion’s share and BT securing some of the most desirable packages, including the Saturday teatime kick off. Although all of that is dependent upon an OFCOM investigation.

That puts paid to any speculation that BT was going to massively up its share of games and hopefully will play down fears that the UK’s biggest single broadband provider is about to hike prices massively, or switch its sport coverage to a subscription-based channel with additional fees – it may happen eventually but not yet.

Sky customers currently pay an average of £30 a month for Sky Sports in HD over-and-above the usual Family Bundle package, with 126 games a year from the new deal (up by 10 from before), a Sky subscriber who only cares about the football (and not the other sports) is paying around £2.85 per game.

BT broadband customers get BT Sport ostensibly for free, though if you compare BT’s prices with those of its newly-purchased subsidiary Plusnet we can see that’s not entirely true, with BT costing £4 extra a month for the same unlimited fibre broadband. Taking the difference in the price and then dividing it by the 42 games shown per season (up by 4 from before), you can see BT customers are paying around £1.14 per game.

Of course, these are very rough figures and don’t include the fact that both companies have huge and labyrinthine package deals across phone, broadband, TV content and TV hardware in the form of PVRs. With both also adding mobile packages to their line up the true picture of what you pay for what is going to get murkier still. They are also based on today’s prices, though we doubt BT will want to anger OFCOM by hiking prices to pay for its new-found love of football.

BT may have many fewer games, but it has also pointed out that it will be showing a lot of Premier League teams in action in other competitions. Having hoovered up the rights to both the FA Cup and the Champions League, BT reckons it will be showing around 115 matches a season in which Premier League sides will feature, that’s just over a couple of games a week, though these will be concentrated in the Champions League group stages at the end of the calendar year and the latter rounds of the FA Cup in January and February.

So BT looks cheaper, but then you’re not getting a lot of the Premier League matches. Sky still holds most the matches and for those who want to watch a lot of Premier League football it remains the obvious choice.


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