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It isn’t yet clear what Virgin Media might have to pay for BSkyB’s continuing English Premier League coverage, but investment banker Goldman Sachs already believes Virgin Media will be hurt by the Sky/BT success in winning the rights from 2013.
Goldman Sachs on June 14th downgraded Virgin Media (VMED), from a ‘buy’ rating, to ‘neutral’ saying: “We believe BT’s decision to invest in high quality UK football rights could lower product differentiation between BT and VMED and also increases the risk of a loss of price rationality in the UK triple play market. The long-term impact of BT’s strategic shift on VMED is hard to gauge and depends in part on the terms of potential wholesale agreements. However, given this uncertainty we no longer expect VMED to re-rate to a growth multiple near-term and we downgrade to Neutral from Buy.”