20 Jun 2013

Sky TV boss worried about growing competition

7:10 pm on 20 June 2013

The head of Sky TV says he's concerned about the growing competition after losing its English Premier League rights, but he's confident that Sky will continue to be the dominant sports broadcaster.

The pay TV company put in what it says was its highest ever bid, but lost the three-year deal to a New Zealand-based group of investors, Coliseum Sports Media.

Coliseum is offering all 380 premier league games on a dedicated pay-per-view platform and has partnered with TVNZ to run a Match of the Week game on Sunday afternoons.

Subscribers will be able to watch the games on a variety of smartphones, tablets or other internet devices.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellett said he is not sure the dedicated pay-per-view platform will succeed.

He said time will tell whether there are enough potential subscribers to pay for the rights.

"You're aware that Mediaworks went into receivership basically because they had rights they couldn't afford to pay for and so you've got to be real careful, it's easy to win the bids, it's a little bit harder to make them pay."

Mr Fellett said he's confident Sky's share price will recover.

He said Sky needs to assess what content is worth and bid accordingly, but the company also has to walk away when it thinks the price is too high because ultimately the subscriber pays.

Sky TV shares fall for second day

Shares in Sky TV have fallen by another 3% on Thursday to $5.25, but an analyst says the market is over-reacting to news it has lost the rights to screen the English Premier League.

Sky shares fell more than 6% on Wednesday.

The head of private wealth research at Forsyth Barr, Rob Mercer, says the EPL's content rights are worth about $2 million compared with Sky's total programming content budget of $290 million.

Coliseum forced to bring forward its announcement

Coliseum Sports Media was forced to bring forward its announcement as the new EPL rights holder and is still tying up possible deals with telecommunications companies.

Chief executive, Tim Martin, set up Coliseum in 2009 to look at ways of delivering sports events through the internet and says he will target other sports in the future.

He said he approached the property and infrastructure investor, Cooper and Company, to invest as private equity partners and to give Coliseum the credibility to secure EPL.

Mr Martin said he's hoping the English Premier League will get Coliseum into some other projects.