Sky admits BT offers 'major competition' over pay TV sports
Sky has admitted it faces major competition from BT in the pay TV sports market.
In recent weeks, BT has secured the rights to screen 38 live Premier League football games per season from 2013-14 to 2015-16 and has also sealed an exclusive agreement with Premiership Rugby.
The latter deal will see the telecoms giant screen live Aviva Premiership matches for four years from 2013-14 and also gives the company live rights to any European fixtures involving Premiership teams for three years, starting in 2014-15.
Speaking to attendees of the Leaders in Football conference at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium, Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said the pay TV giant is taking the competition from BT "very seriously".
"We know the nature of the Premier League process means there has to be a competitor and competition like that keeps us on our toes," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Mr Francis added Sky's loss of Premiership rugby came about as a result of the company's need to cut costs.
Although he admitted it had been a "tough choice", the Sky Sports chief stated: "Premiership rugby wasn't particularly working for us."