Sky struggling to secure content

Cricket fans around New Zealand are pretty upset. The Blackcaps tour of South Africa isn’t being televised here because Sky was “unable to secure the rights”.

While hardcore fans who are desperate to watch coverage will still be able to see the games via other means online, it does raise some questions about Sky’s ability to secure content in the new media landscape.

Having been the home of live cricket on TV in New Zealand for quite some time now, most were expecting the South African tour rights to be finalised at the last minute to ensure fans weren’t left in the lurch, much like the Rugby League rights have done in recent years. Last minute negotiations have still found in favour of the fans but this latest incident shouldn’t just concern fans of sport, but the shareholders in Sky who must surely be considering whether a panic over media stocks that has happened recently in the US is about to play out here.

A number of fans I know had gotten up early to watch the game on the weekend only to discover that the first T20 match was not where they had assumed it would be. After all, you pay a reasonably good price for what you assume is for access to all the big sporting fixtures so why would it not be there and what was it that prevented the deal being done?

Negotiations can tough at times as both parties fight for the best deal for them but if the dead lock isn’t broken then not only do the companies involved miss out on making a buck but the fans miss out on the sport they want to watch. This can very easily lead to resentment and paying customers looking for alternative solutions, a problem that should be deeply concerning for Sky.

In the instance that Sky couldn’t secure the rights they wanted, what options would they have? You would think that in order to keep their subscribers happy, they’d be doing everything in their power. It appears as though no one else has the local rights to the games so it wouldn’t appear to be a case of losing a bidding war. Perhaps what Sky should have done, is lobbied the governing body of the sport to ensure they could secure the rights and deliver games to their subscribers without them being forced to use an online streaming service.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • Sky shareholders are asleep at the wheel. There will be tears

  • Simon Green

    Neither Mediaworks nor TVNZ brought the rights either. Maybe SACB were charging too much if all three networks didn’t buy them?

    • benpaul12

      I read somewhere that Sky wasn’t in competition with anyone else for the rights in NZ and also, the Aussie networks were able to get it with no issues. Sky must’ve looked at it and judged it wasn’t worth the cost??

      If Sky only seems to be able to show Rugby Union and League consistently well, it’s getting to the point where spending $85 per month just to have access to these two sports is stupid.

  • Yes we know SKY is a sinking ship and all the rest of it, but I always find it amusing when everyone cries foul and threatens to drop SKY over an incident of some sort, but when they want to watch something SKY’s not covering, they whinge and moan at SKY for not providing it. If people are truly serious about competition in the marketplace and disbanding SKY’s monopoly, why aren’t they jumping up and down on the doorstep of other providers instead to get them to pick up the rights to something SKY won’t be covering? SKY will be perfectly happy to tolerate a bit of anger on a regular basis because they know the public mightn’t like them all that much but they also know said public don’t have an alternative to turn to because they’re not asking for one loud enough.

  • Mike Perro

    sportlemon, feed2all just to name a few