Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: No Longer in a League of Its Own

Magazine article Marketing

Media Analysis: No Longer in a League of Its Own

Article excerpt

Will advertisers defect now that Sky's stranglehold on live football rights has been loosened?

The start of the football season represents more than just a battle for the hearts and minds of fans at the turnstiles. TV advertisers now have more options than ever when it comes to where to run their ads around the games.

Until Setanta entered the market two years ago, Sky had monopolised the television rights to live Premiership football for 14 years. This year, however, Setanta will show 46 live Premiership games, while Sky will show 92. Although Sky has managed to maintain the rights to many of the premium games, it has still taken a hit with the loss of a host of international and FA Cup ties.

Carl Nawagamuwa, broadcast account director at Mediaedge:cia, agrees that the loss of some of the bigger international games will be keenly felt by Sky this year. 'Football has been Sky's shining light on the advertising front and though it has managed to maintain the rights to big club games, the loss of the big event matches, like England internationals, will affect it, as will fixtures such as the Community Shield, which was on Setanta over the weekend,' he says.

While this may be bad news for Sky, it is good news for advertisers, according to most media agencies, because they can now bargain with the broadcasters to secure better prices and demand cross-platform deals.

'From an agency perspective, it's great that the rights are spread out, because we get better choice and value in the market for our clients,' says Paul Rowlinson, investment director at MindShare. 'Different channels have different tones so an advertiser may feel they fit better with a certain broadcaster and this choice allows them to decide where they should go. For the newer broadcasters on the market it opens up a raft of untapped brands and revenue opportunities so it's a clear win situation for them.'

Setanta has been heavily promoting its live football rights and earlier this month launched a major integrated campaign, which focused on its more extensive content. It is confident that it can secure strong advertising interest from brands that are more accustomed to dealing with Sky.

Timothy Ryan, Setanta's GB marketing director, claims advertisers have reacted positively to the changing landscape. …

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