The return of sport to TV screens in the third quarter of 2020 has been a boost for Sky with revenues up 5.2 per cent year on year.

The overall number of subscribers across Europe has dipped slightly but numbers in the UK and Ireland are understood to have risen.

The return of sport, and in particular the Premier League has seen new records set for a single season with the conclusion of 2019/20 and a new single-day record already in 2021.

The prevention of crowds attending games in person is not stopping enthusiasm for sport, it is just that we are experiencing it in different ways.

Whether this behavioural change will lead to a permanent shift from live action to watched sport in an individuals own surroundings remains to be seen.

Advertising revenues dipped but the big win came in sports content revenue which climbed by 17.5 per cent to €388 million in the quarter.

This will be of significant comfort to sports right holders who may well be shifting more of their business model towards remote consumption bearing in mind the likely ongoing and long term impact on mass gatherings.

With reference to rights negotiations, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said that “In terms of the future on sports renegotiations and new contracts, the principle is that our approach doesn’t need to change. We start with value, and the value that we see, we bid against that value in a disciplined way.

“One of the advantages of the way sports are sold in Europe is that, typically, we’re on shorter cycles.”

“The average cycle will be three, perhaps four years. So that does give us the opportunity where we think there’s some form of reset that’s required or we take a different view in terms of value to get that away.”

Sport for Business Partners