Investors call foul to Sky and BT’s footy deal

UNIMPRESSED investors yesterday drove down the price of shares in BSkyB and BT after the companies announced they had agreed to pay a collective £3.018bn for the right to broadcast the Premier League’s games.

At an average £6.53m per match, the deal will plough an extra 70 per cent into the Premier League’s pockets.

Shares in BSkyB, which will pay £2.28m over three years to show 116 football games per season, sank by up to 8.3 per cent as investors responded to the broadcaster’s decision to pay an extra 40 per cent for the rights.

BT, which has agreed to pay £738m to show a total of 114 games across the three year period, saw the value of its stock drop by up to five per cent.

Liberum’s Ian Whittaker said BT’s entry is “unwelcome” for BSkyB as, unlike Sky’s previous football counterpart ESPN, BT has its own platform and strong brand recognition, and gets first choice for 18 matches.

But Paul Richards at Numis said, “In our view, BSkyB has retained the very best selection of rights.”