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BT Sport boss claims Sky will have to change pub prices to compete

BT claims its takeover of Saturday lunchtime Premiership football will force Sky to change its pricing for pubs to remain competitive.

Marc Watson, CEO of BT Retail, said it will charge pubs 20 per cent less than Sky’s current rates to show the most popular game of the week.

Sky has around 12,000 pub customers, and is expected to publish its pub ratecard for 2013-14 in July.

“We hope is that they’ll reflect in their pricing the fact that they’re not able any more to offer Premier League football on Saturday lunchtimes,” Watson told the Broadcasting Press Guild. 

BT Sport boss claims Sky will have to change pub prices to compete
Pubs are winners when there’s a big game on

Read Recombu Digital’s guides to BT Sport and Sky Sports“That’s one of the busiest periods for pubs, and it’s very very important to the economics of pubs out there.”

Out of around 70,000 pubs and clubs in the UK, Watson said Sky’s customers have halved in recent years because of the economic pressure on the industry.

Of the 154 televised Premier League football games in the coming season, BT has 38, including first picks on key spots such as Saturday lunchtimes and Bank Holidays.

BT Sport also shares the FA Cup with ITV, and has 69 live Aviva Premiership rugby matches per season, plus live football from leagues in Germany, France, Italy and Brazil.

Sky, meanwhile, has high profile Sunday afternoon games, Saturday tea-time kick-offs, Monday night football, and the UEFA Champions’ League, as well as F1 and cricket.

Watson’s also hoping that BT Sport’s football coverage, fronted by Jake Humphrey, will win customers from the pub to the home.

“I’d love to think that because of BT Sport, every pub in the land is going to be full every lunchtime,” he added.

“It’s not going to be quite like that, but what you get is that if people see the channel in the pub, see what we do and that we do a good job of it, then it will actually increase their desire to have more access to it.”

Image: Ariaski/Flickr

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