The new Premier League season has kicked off to the usual fanfare, but another battle is raging off the pitch, between rival broadcasters Sky and BT.
Both companies have launched high profile advertising campaigns in order to win over new subscribers. Sky Sports has opted for a nostalgic look back at seasons gone by, integrating Arsenal legend Thierry Henry into clips of memorable moments.
BT Sport has taken a more glitzy approach, with its ad focusing on a house party featuring some of the world’s best players, in an attempt to draw attention to the group’s newly acquired Champions League offering. Both ads have been complemented by accompanying outdoor posters, radio spots and social media activity.
YouGov BrandIndex data points towards the cut-through both campaigns have achieved. Since July, our data indicates how closely contested the battle has been.
Currently, YouGov’s ad awareness metric shows that Sky Sports is narrowly ahead among all respondents on 16.5 compared to BT Sport’s 15.8. There is a slightly different picture among those on our panel who proclaim to be football fans. BT is slightly ahead at this point, with a score of 20.6, while Sky trails at 19.7.
The true test of course, is how this increased ad awareness and visibility translates into new subscriptions and customer satisfaction. One crucial aspect to this is perceived value for money. On this measure, among football fans at least, Sky Sports is losing out. Its value metric score is an unhealthy minus 15.3, compared with BT Sport’s minus 2.8.
The saving grace for Sky Sports as far as our data is concerned comes in the form of the purchase consideration metric — it leads on this measure, with 27.8 to BT Sport’s 19.7 among football fans.
Sky Sports has been synonymous with the Premier League since its inception, and still possesses a dramatic hold on the market. While our data reflects the strides BT is making, it remains to be seen whether the aggressive move to secure European football rights will see it regarded as Sky’s equal.