If all the football, rugby, tennis, golf and cricket broadcast on Sky Sports wasn't enough to fuel your desire for competition, there's also the meta competition going on between Sky Sports and BT Sport. Coming out of nowhere in 2013, BT Sport snapped up a good number of Premier League matches and set about trying to dethrone Sky Sports as the top sports broadcaster in the country. It did that by assembling a compelling line up of sports broadcasting, including the Europa League, FA Community Shield, the FA Cup and the Champions League. Their other masterstroke was giving BT Sport away for free to anyone who had a BT Internet connection or took BT Vision on as their TV package. All of a sudden, Sky not only had a credible rival in the world of football broadcasting, it had one which was prepared to attack the very business model that Sky Sports is based on - subscription.
Of course, Sky always had an ace up its sleeve - first pick games. As part of their lot in the Premier League Rights Auction, Sky get first dibs on some of the biggest games of the season, so that clashes like Man City vs. Man United and Chelsea vs. Liverpool tend to wind up on Sky Sports rather than their rival. Last year, Sky made a big deal in their marketing that "the games that matter" happened on Sky, and they're at it again this year with the news that 49 of the top 50 most watched Premier League clashes were exclusive to Sky Sports this season.
It's an exact repeat of the numbers Sky boasted about last year but this time featured every single one of the 20 sides in the Premier League, which truly highlights what a thrilling year it was for the top flight of English football, and how important every game was towards the end. The news comes just as Sky Sports ramp up for a huge summer of sport for Sky Sports viewers to enjoy with a schedule that includes The Ashes, every Major golf tournament, every Formula One weekend, England's IRB World Cup warm-up matches and the build up to the 2015/2016 season of Premier League football, just in case you were considering getting on the Sky phone numbers to cancel your subscription.
Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis said: “We’ve offered 49 of the top 50 matches two seasons running now, showing that Sky Sports continues to be the home of the matches that matter. Football fans should expect more of the same from Sky Sports next season and of course, more matches and an even stronger selection of picks from 2016/17.
Francis added: “Before then, it’s another huge summer of sport across our seven channels with an unrivalled choice of the biggest events including The Ashes, Major golf and every Formula One® Grand Prix weekend live.”
Global football icon Thierry Henry, who joined Sky Sports’ football coverage in January, commented: “This is why I chose Sky Sports. I wanted to work on the best matches and this season has been an incredible experience. I can’t wait for more of the same when we’re back in August.”
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