Sky to freeze prices for 3rd year in a row

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Sky has frozen subscription prices for the third year in a row “in recognition of the fact of economic conditions still making things tough for publicans” .



18 July 2013

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On a recent visit to Dublin, Sky Business’s Deputy Managing Director Alison Dolan pointed out, “Our licensee customers have  experienced no increase in costs since September 2010. In the intervening period we’ve invested heavily, securing new rights and innovative productions as well as the best presenters and analysts around.”

The company has also been investing ‘off-screen’ so that its customers can get the most out of Sky membership to drive their own businesses.

This year Sky is introducing a free third viewing card for Sky Ultimate customers so that pubs can screen three separate sporting events at the one time. Other features of the forthcoming season include free HD, 3-D, the Sky Sports Preview magazine and  Preview Live.

In addition, for the new season,  a new free app “only available in licensed venues” will help get consumers to go to the pub to watch sport.

To be launchd in early August, ahead of the new season startup, the app has been designed around the Premier League live on screen and will be curated from the studio itself with predictions, polls and quizzes directly relevant to the game that’s on at that time for pub customers. It’ll be  tailored to what’s appearing on the screen. Being interactive, the app also enables customers to play against each other in the pub.

“We’d encourage customers to get their own staff involved,” advised Alison Dolan, “It’s something a bit different that they can’t get at home, a bit of fun pre-match to get people into the pub.”

Sky will also introduce a new on-trade training programm in partnerhsip with CPL, designed to sit alongside the face-to-face training that Sky already undertakes with its customers. The training will help with online sports knowledge and where best to locate the screen, for example. It will offer advice or how to make the most of the game beforehand, once it’s on and afterwards. It also helps publicans ensure that they’re in sync with the fixtures as they come up.

Sky’s list of sporting events for the new season also includes fixtures such as Tuesday and Wednesday’s Champions League, every race weekend from Formula One, grand slam tennis, golf majors, the Heineken Cup, international rugby and more live football than ever, states the company.

The package includes 116 live Premier League games across the season including 77 of the top 100 picks across Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. In addition there’s coverage from the UEFA Champions League, the Football League and La Liga as well as coverage from SPL and the Scottish Football League.

On the way
Also in the pipeline will be Panoramic Sport which recreates the experience of going to the stadium itself with a panoramic view. Two cameras provide a bigger picture delivered by two projectors in the pub.
This should be ready to go within six months, said Alison Dolan.

Sky has been working too on bringing ‘3-D sound’ or ‘directional sound’ to its transmissions. Such technology isolates sports coverage sound only to those who want to hear it.

“Little innovations like that will help the publican accommodate other customers who may not wish to watch the sport,” she explained, adding that all this investment had been absorbed “…. despite significant inflation costs (now costing Sky 40% more than in the previous round)”.

However Sky warned that it will also continue to check on premises that are not licensed to show its signal through a 50% increase in the number of covert visits by Pan Research here in Ireland.



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