Sky Sports customers get free fibre broadband in pay-TV war with BT

Sky is to give free fibre broadband to Sky Sports TV subscribers in a counter-offensive against BT's free TV football offer for its broadband customers.

David Beckham stars in Sky Sports' ad to kick off the Premier League season
David Beckham stars in Sky Sports' ad to kick off the Premier League season

Sky Sports is offering free Sky Fibre as part of its marketing push for the start of what it calls its "biggest season ever" of Premier League football, which includes a record 126 live TV games and digital video clips for the first time.

BT's broadband customers have got free TV football since 2013. It has 42 live Premier League games this season.

Luke Bradley-Jones, director of brand for Sky TV, said the fibre broadband offer is part of an effort to ensure customers "get more value out of their subscriptions".

Sky will also offer digital video clips, including three-minute highlights of each game, within minutes of the end of each match, and on-demand 30-minute highlights of each game by around midnight that evening.

He said: "Broadband is an integral part of what we're offering. Sky Sports customers are among our most important customers and we want to pack in the value."

Sky has recruited David Beckham to star in its "start of the season" ad in which he goes on a training run when "anything can happen" as he tours the country, visiting different clubs from summer through to the end of the season the following spring.

"We want to capitalise on the incredible excitement you get at the start of the season –particularly given the surprise element of last season," he said, referring to Leicester City's triumph.

Beckham is a safe choice but Bradley-Jones said: "Beckham always has such cut-through appeal. Everyone wants to do an advert with Becks."

Bradley-Jones added the marketing spend was "pretty chunky", with outdoor ads about specific clubs such as West Bromwich Albion tailored to their local area, but he declined to give a figure for the budget.

Sky spent £4.2 billion on the TV rights, up 80% on its previous three-year deal, after a bidding war with BT, and it increased prices for Sky Sports customers by about £1.50 a month, depending on the package, in June.