Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of BSkyB, has tried to allay investor fears of a major rights fight with BT. He told an investor conference in Spain that Sky was happy to make a wholesale deal to ensure subscribers would still be able to access content. He added higher subscription prices would ensure maintained profitability.
Responding to investor fears, Darroch highlighted investments in Sky Atlantic and movies. “The journey at Sky since day one has been to broaden out and do new things,” he said. “While sport is very, very important to Sky, it’s just one of the things that we do.”
The Champions League rights currently cost Sky £80 million (€94m) a year, which Darroch said would be reinvested in other programming.
He also said there was a “very strong” opportunity for Sky to charge more in spite of political debate about the cost of living in the UK. Sky had only increased prices by 4 per cent in recent years, while the wider market had seen inflation of 10 per cent, he said. It typically raises prices in September or October.