One of the greatest benefits of being a Sky, Virgin, BT or Now TV subscriber, for many of us, is the ability to enjoy Sky Sports. Without a doubt, it's the biggest and best way to enjoy incredible sports, but with a rivalry continuing to bubble with BT Sport, you'd be forgiven for thinking the channel had lost some of its power.
Well, Sky suggest otherwise and have announced a massive 2017 schedule that includes every F1 race, every ball from England's summer of cricket (plus the Ashes!) as well as every single major championship golf tournament. That's on top of the British & Irish Lions tour, the conclusion and restart of the 4 professional football leagues in the UK, and that's without mentioning the other huge events across the 5 channels they offer.
What follows is our original article about Sky Sport's 2014 output:
If you're a Sky subscriber, one of the main draws that brought you to the company may well have been their immense range of sporting events, coming under the Sky Sports umbrella. Well, if that's the case, then prepare to have your decision justified because Sky have announced that 2014 was their best year for sporting output ever, dwarfing last years record for football alone by 29% and promoting more women's sports than ever before. But how to those numbers shake down, and did the increase in sporting output work out as good value for money? Let's find out.
As previously indicated, Sky offered 29% more football in 2014 than they did in 2013, up to 10,912 hours of the sport if you somehow managed to watch every single game. That impressive number doesn't actually include more Premier League games, as the rights auction from the prior year still dictated which games they could show. Instead, that number has risen with the EUFA EURO 2016 qualifiers and Holland's Eredivise league for the very first time. In addition, Sky launched Sky Sports 5, a new Sky Sports channel dedicated solely to showing European football matches, including many sporting highlights from across the European leagues.
Football wasn't the only sport that saw a dramatic increase in coverage compared to 2013 though, oh no, because golf did pretty well too. 2014 came with 6,282 hours of golf coverage being shown on Sky Sports across the year, up 24% from 2013. It's an astonishing number, made more astonishing when you consider that the heavily promoted Ryder Cup (which came with its own dedicated channel) only provided Sky with 330 hours of programming. All in all, over four million Sky customers tuned in to watch the Ryder Cup coverage and 5 million followed the competition across Sky's digital platforms.
Sky had come under fire for not showing many women's sports across their channels, so in 2014 they sought to remedy that mistake with 30% more womens sport programming across 260 days of the year making up 1,160 total hours of sport. The inclusion led to fewer people attempting to contact sky in order to complain and millions of sporting fans discovering the competitive joy of womens sport. Who can forget the incredible highlights across Sky during 2014 though? It was a year where Lewis Hamilton won his second Formula 1 World Champion title in the last race, where Manchester City took the Premier League title in the final few games and when Team Europe stormed home to win the Ryder Cup. All told, it was a superb year for sport and one which won't be forgotten anytime soon by those who witnessed it. Barney Francis, MD of Sky Sports had this to say about both 2014 and the forthcoming 2015 season “It’s been a year to remember for Sky Sports viewers and 2015 will be even better. We’ve never offered such a choice of sport across our channels and the great sport keeps on coming over the next twelve months.”
Here are the official numbers for each sport shown on Sky Sports during 2014:
Football 10,912 hours Golf 6,282 hours Cricket 4,607 hours F1 & Motorsport 4,276 hours Rugby Union 1,943 hours Tennis 1,662 hours Rugby League 1,187 hours Boxing 1,115 hours Women’s sport 1,160 hours
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