Magazine article Marketing

Euro '96 Proves Both Sides Can End Up Winners

Magazine article Marketing

Euro '96 Proves Both Sides Can End Up Winners

Article excerpt

It may have all ended with a pathetic German 'golden' goal, but Euro '96 has surely proved the power of terrestrial television in covering sport, and that there is a public interest that goes beyond always selling television sports rights to the highest bidder. Is it conceivable that the European Championships would have had anything like their influence if they had only been available to the minority of a minority on subscription?

Luckily, the event, which showed that beer could not be totally neglected in bringing athletes to a peak of perfection, produced a win for everyone, except Gareth Southgate.

Advertisers and sponsors got their 20 million-plus audiences, which could not have been assembled in any other way. UEFA got a wonderful shop window for its sport and the nation got a small, if rapidly fading, dose of the elusive feel-good factor, with the exception of insensates who don't like football.

But BSkyB, although it should never be allowed to get its exclusive hands on the small number of events that the entire nation watches rather than just sports fans could also turn out to be a winner from Euro '96. It is not too fanciful to think that Sky may have contributed to the renaissance of the English game by pumping money into the Premier League, and through it attracting top-quality foreign players.

Now, with the backing of BSkyB's [pounds]670m, the Premier League could become the hot football league in Europe. And the extra interest generated in football over the past three weeks, with the widest possible audience, could ironically now help Sam Chisholm get his money back by bringing in more subscribers. …

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