By the end of June 2013, Sky will have expanded its headcount in Ireland from a little over 50 staff two years ago to somewhere north of 900 now. This massive expansion is to develop a market that leads the world in pay TV subscription and sport plays a major role.
“The penetration of Pay TV in Irish homes is 75%,” according to Mark Anderson, Head of Sales and Marketing with Sky Ireland who Sport for Business met with after a breakfast briefing to members and guests of the Marketing Institute of Ireland. “That compares to only 55% in the UK and we are looking to learn lessons from how that has come about.”
“Ireland is an important market in its own right and we are developing content and services that have a much more local flavour than before.”
“We added RTE2 HD last year ahead of the coverage of the London 2012 Olympics and we are actively looking to develop programmes like Moone Boy that are Irish in origin and will appeal to local as well as international audiences.”
“Our latest advertising campaign uses Pierce Brosnan to promote the arrival of Sky Broadband and those ads were shot in Dalkey, South County Dublin.”
“The radio voiceovers were recorded in Hawaii, mind you but Ireland is central to the way we are thinking now and that is a long term commitment.”
“Our motto is ‘Believe in Better’ and we are driven by improving services every quarter.”
“The launch of broadband here is a case in point and when we report at main board level that line rental here still costs €26 there is genuine surprise.”
“Sky made its name by being disruptive and that remains the case today.”
With regard to sport we asked specifically whether Irish sporting content was likely to play a role.
“Sport has always been at the heart of Sky. We get great response here from the Heineken Cup and we are always monitoring the sporting rights market.”
“We are looking forward to a conversation with the GAA later this year though we are aware that the latter stages of the All Ireland Championships are listed events for terrestrial broadcast so that is an issue.”
“Nevertheless, we are alive to the possibilities within Irish sport and with the expansion of our team here it is an area we will be keeping a close eye on.”
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