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Sky to increase the wholesale price of its Sports channels

Thu 1st Jul 2010 | Television & Broadcasting

It’s been announced that Sky is to increase the price of its Sky Sports channels, raising the cost to BT and Virgin of broadcasting live events such as Premier League football.

The news comes after BT announced on it will charge customers £16.99 a month for both Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2, or £11.99 for just one of the channels.

However, the wholesale cost of the channels to BT looks set to rise to £19.07 in September with Sky is increasing the retail price of its sports channels from £35 to £38.

Sky told the BBC that it intended to review its prices in September each year, and would introduce the £3 increase to cover the costs of a new three-year deal to broadcast live Premier League football.

It's surprising that Sky are raising prices for their customers just when we're about to enter the market

This deal cost the broadcaster £1.623bn, compared with £1.314bn for the previous three-year deal. It gives Sky the rights to 23 more matches than the last agreement.

"We're investing to bring customers an even better service next year. Sky Sports will have 25% more live Premier League games, alongside outstanding events like the Ryder Cup and the Ashes," said Mark Anderson, customer marketing director, at Sky.

These additional costs will be passed directly on to BT, following a ruling by the regulator Ofcom in March.

It ruled that Sky would have to cut the price it charged rivals to show its premium sports channels.

Specifically, it said Sky would have to sell Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £10.63 a month each to rival broadcasters.

If the two channels were sold together, Ofcom set a price of £17.14.

After Sky's announced price increase, these wholesale prices will increase to £13.42 and £19.07.

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