Broadcast rights boom set to stay, but the market players and payers might change

Premier League TV

August 10 – Anyone expecting the football bubble to burst for premium broadcast rights will have a long wait. A survey by broadband and TV comparison website Broadband Genie found that 78% of sports subscribers would consider leaving or switching their TV provider if they lost the rights to their favourite sports.

And football comes out a long way ahead in terms of which sport are in highest demand. Football scored 74%, followed by motorsport, rugby and tennis.

The UK survey found that 57% of subscribers said sports had a “strong influence” over the TV packages they chose, while a further 29% said it had a “slight influence”. Of those surveyed 46% had a sports channel with their TV package and 51% of them had subscribed and paired multiple sport channels, such as Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, said: “What’s clear is that failing to invest in this content would risk upsetting a core base of their TV subscribers. Many are subscribed to their services purely for sport content, leaving providers in a predicament: continue to spend record sums on securing these rights, or lose their subscribers to a competitor.”

Hilborn also pointed to a shift in the market that could significantly change the broadcast  landscape, with the entry of technology and cash rich digital giants like Amazon intothe bidding for rights.

This could be the start of a major shift in the sport broadcasting market. These global tech companies have huge stockpiles of cash, meaning companies such as BT and Sky would struggle to fend them off if they make acquiring sports rights a serious priority,” said Hilborn.

“For the consumer, this could open the door to getting their favourite sports at a lower cost. But equally the market could become even more dispersed, leaving sport fans needing even more services to get the content they want.”

View the full survey at

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