Sky has announced that it is increasing the price of its TV packages just weeks after agreeing to pay £4.2 billion for expanded Premier League broadcast rights.
The broadcaster usually announces its price raise around September, but it is thought that the decision to announce a price hike earlier than usual is at least partially down to the huge investment the company has made to show more top-flight football than in seasons past.
The price of a Sky Sports package will now cost consumers £47 a month, up from £46, while the cost of a Family bundle, which includes channels like Sky 1, Sky Atlantic and Good Food, will cost households £3 more a month, at £36. Sky Movies will climb by 50p per month too, and customers wishing to take on the company’s Variety bundle will have to fork out an extra £2 a month for the privilege.
Subscribers who saw their bill rise back in September last year and who are still tied in to their minimum term won’t see any price increase until the end of their agreement hoves into view.
The broadcaster has been quick to defend its decision to announce an earlier than usual rise in prices.
A spokesperson for Sky said: “We work hard to make Sky the best value entertainment choice for subscribers. This year we’ll bring our customers even more of the TV they want to watch, including the best US shows and unmissable British drama. Meanwhile Sky Sports will offer an unrivalled choice of top quality sport. We’ll also bring more of the shows everyone’s talking about on Sky Box Sets. On average, bills will rise by less than £3 per month.”
Despite the broadcaster’s bullishness surrounding its price increases some remain sceptical, citing the company’s insistence that customers would not be expected to foot the bill for its additional outlay for the rights to show the beautiful game as reason for concern, especially for those who don’t follow the sport.
Regulator Ofcom is expected to become involved in the debate over the high cost of watching top-tier football in the UK in the coming weeks. The watchdog is likely to investigate a complaint made by one of Sky’s adversaries in the market, Virgin Media. The company commissioned a survey which purportedly showed that 83 per cent of British football fans were being priced out of watching live games on television.
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