Monday 8 April 2013

BT and Sky bicker over the ad campaign for BT's new sports coverage!

   If you live in the UK and you ask anyone in the country who you should go to to get the best sports coverage on TV and their answer will be Sky 99 times out of 100. That's what makes today's news slightly less than savoury.

   Today British Sky Broadcasting has rejected a huge multimillion-pound ad campaign which was booked by BT (British Telecom) to promote their new 38 game Premier League and sports package which will go into full effect at the start of the 2013/2014 seasons.

   BT wants to make the most out of their £738 million investment in 38 Premier League football (soccer) games and a key part of launching their two new sports channels is a marketing blitz which will highlight the options which go live in July. Sky is a natural place to advertise because of the subscriber base which is on the higher side of 10 million paying sports subscribers.

    Today BT confirmed that they have lodged a complaint with media regulator Watchdog, because of Sky's refusal to show their campaign. Sky refused to tell BT on what grounds their campaign was declined and as such Ofcom will take up the matter under the 'grievance under the Code on the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers'.

   BT described the rejection from Sky as "undue discrimination" and John Petter, BT's managing director of consumer, added that, "We are happy to take Sky's advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours... It's like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy."

   Sky in retaliation said that their billions of pounds worth of investment meant that they did not want to run the ad campaign on any of their Sky Sports channels, but they said they were more than happy to approve the campaign if it was aired on the non-sports channels which Sky offers, but that's not quite the point. BT would be wasting their money if they didn't target the obvious audience in what most average consumers see as close to a monopoly on sports coverage. Sky told the Guardian:
"There many other avenues for BT to advertise its sports channels without seeking to take advantage of the investments that we've made to build Sky Sports... It's entirely reasonable for us to choose not to carry advertising for a directly competing service."
   If you were to look to the past to find a resolution then you would find that ESPN do offer ads on Sky Sports channels, but only because they allow Sky to advertise their sporting prowess on ESPN's channels.

   If we were to predict who would come out on top here we expect Ofcom will come down on BT's side, but that is pure speculation and we could be wrong, because it's easy to have a bit of sympathy for both sides in this debate. What do you think? Let us know what you think should be done in the comments below!
Guardian Via TheVerge.


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