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
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 football1, 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.
- ^ its marketing push for the start of what it calls its “biggest season ever” of Premier League football (www.campaignlive.co.uk)
LONDON. Juan Mata apologised to Manchester United fans yesterday after the first red card of his career proved costly in a 1-0 defeat at West Brom on Sunday. The Spaniard collected two yellow cards in just 158 seconds at the Hawthorns, as United were left to play with only 10 men for over an hour. Mata was shown his first yellow for needlessly blocking a Darren Fletcher free-kick, and was sent off for a late tackle on the former United midfielder. Louis van Gaal s men are now three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the race for the Champions League, who also have a game in hand. Their best chance of qualifying for Europe s premier competition now looks to be by winning the Europa League. They play Liverpool for the first time in Europe in the last 16 of that competition on Thursday, with Mata set to play as his ban only covers domestic football. After almost 500 games as a professional player, this Sunday I was sent off for the first time in my career. As you can imagine, it s not easy for me to write these lines, Spain midfielder Mata wrote on his blog.
The truth is this is a new and strange situation for me, not easy to assimilate, but we learn from everything. I know that, in football, we see things like these every week, but obviously what hurts more is that my team-mates had to fight with 10 men for a long time. I have the feeling that both decisions were rigorous; that, in many occasions, we see more serious fouls that are not penalised in such a way, but at the same time I could have avoided them and I take responsibility.
It also leaves me with a bad taste for the supporters who travelled to the stadium, and for those who were watching the game from home, but I must carry on as always and from now on I m already focused on the next game, the derby against Liverpool in the Europa League.
Manager Louis van Gaal said Spanish international Mata should have shown more care after he was red-carded as Manchester United lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion in a blow to their Champions League soccer qualification hopes on Sunday.
- James McClean celebrated in front of Sunderland fans after West Brom win
- McClean became hate figure for Sunderland fans during his spell there
- Irish winger refused to wear a poppy jersey on 2012 remembrance day
- FA will study footage of McClean s fist pumps and resulting melee
- McClean posted pictures of his celebration on Twitter next to a smiley face
- Tony Pulis to watch footage again before deciding to punish McClean
16:34 EST, 18 October 2015
23:54 EST, 18 October 2015
The FA will study video footage of James McClean s melee-sparking celebration on Monday to assess whether the West Bromwich Albion winger should be punished.
McClean is likely to face a fine for reacting to Sunderland supporters chanting F*** the IRA and God Save the Queen with a double-fist pump after the final whistle of West Brom s 1-0 victory.
McClean, who was born in Londonderry but opted to play for Republic of Ireland, became a hate figure among a number of Sunderland supporters in November 2012 when he refused to wear a poppy.
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James McClean fist-pumps in front of travelling Sunderland fans after West Brom s 1-0 victory
McClean (right) is confronted by Sunderland striker Danny Graham (left) after celebrating in front of away fans
A melee broke out from the incident with Sunderland s Lee Cattermole (centre) squaring up to McClean (right)
McClean (right) is pulled away by West Brom team-mate Craig Gardner (second from right) on Saturday
Last November he wrote an open letter to then Wigan chairman Dave Whelan explaining his reasons and claiming Sunderland hung him out to dry for failing to allow him to speak out at the time.
The 26-year-old also caused a significant stir this summer by declining to acknowledge the national anthem while on West Brom s pre-season tour in the USA.
Michael Gray, the former Sunderland player who was at the match working for talkSPORT, tweeted: James McLean what a Pr#ck (sic).
McClean s Irish international team-mate John O Shea (right) tries to calm the 26-year-old down
The West Brom winger (right) posted a picture of his celebrations on Twitter with a smiley face
But McClean yesterday appeared to revel in his actions by posting a picture of his celebrations alongside a series of emojis including a smiley face.
It is understood referee Martin Atkinson did not see McClean s actions and will submit a match report based on his observations.
Danny Graham may also face a charge after running over to shove McClean and shouting verbal abuse.
Lee Cattermole also acted aggressively, while both clubs could be accused of failing to control their players.
West Brom boss Tony Pulis will look at the video of his side s victory, settled by Saido Berahino s second-half goal, before deciding on any action.