Sky keen for a wholesale deal with BT Sport

Oliver Smith
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BSKYB chief executive Jeremy Darroch said yesterday that he is keen to sign a mutual wholesale deal with BT, so both broadcasters can offer their customers access to a full range of live sports.

At a Morgan Stanley media conference in Barcelona, Darroch said “We’re keen to get a wholesale agreement, but it has to be a two-way thing, with reciprocity.”

Sky Sports lost the ability to show European Champions League football from 2015 earlier this month after BT made a £900m bid for the coveted television rights.

Darroch said he does not expect Sky to take a huge hit from the loss of the Champions League and that it had not been willing to pay any more for the rights.

“I think it’s important to keep it in context, the Champions League is around three per cent of Sky Sports viewing because we’ve broadened Sky Sports coverage,” said Darroch.

Customers currently have to pay separate bills to access Sky Sports and BT Sports when using a competing service – BT’s YouView customers are completely excluded from accessing Sky Sports. But BT has agreed a wholesale deal with Virgin Media to allow access to BT Sports to the service’s top tier customers at no extra charge. “We have always said we will wholesale BT Sport where it makes commercial sense for both parties. BT has always been open to reaching a commercial deal with Sky but they have resisted this to date,” said BT.