Premier League Rights Are Vital For Telcos

I have blogged regularly on the impact of content on the telco and broadband sector. I believe that quality content is fast becoming more important than the network, which consumers are starting to see as a commodity.

Of all the various types of content, sport is one of the most important. In fact the success of Sky TV over the past couple of decades can primarily be attributed to their use of great sports content, such as the Premier League.

The Premier League has become an area of focus for several networks in recent years though. BT joined the market and now Discovery Communications (owned by Virgin Media) is entering the auction for Premier League rights.

Live sport drives a strong demand for network services so this proliferation of companies interested in the Premier League rights can only be expected, but it might not be good for the end customer.

When the 2012 auction topped £3bn (after BT entered the market) many commentators talked about how it could not possibly go higher. The expectation is that the latest auction will be worth around £4.4bn – a 45% increase since last time.

The networks are all engaged in an arms race to win customers and they can see that live sports content is one of the best ways to keep customers loyal, but if the rights auctions keep on increasing at this pace then monthly subscriptions must surely also go up too. at a time when the market is seeing more competition based on content, consumers might be more prepared to shop around for their TV and Internet service.

How important is the Premier League to you when choosing an Internet or telecoms provider? Leave a comment here or tweet me on @simondillsworth

Jack Wilshere and Alex Song

Photo by Ronnie McDonald licensed under Creative Commons

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