Pubs need to sell 25,000 extra pints during football season to cover Sky costs

22 September 2008 by
Pubs need to sell 25,000 extra pints during football season to cover Sky costs

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has claimed a pub would have to sell 25,000 extra pints during the football season to cover the cost of a subscription to broadcaster Sky.

Trade group the ALMR, which puts the average cost of a sports subscription at £15,000, said the average highlighted the high costs facing British pubs wishing to show live football.

According to the ALMR a typical local now has to more than double its usual takings across the bar on all 92 Sky Premiership match days just to break even on a Sky Sports subscription.

As a result, claims the trade body, thousands of pubs are being forced to switch off, while others are resorting to raising the price of beer or even charging for entry to cover costs.

ALMR chief executive Nick Bish said "Sky has exploited its monopoly position in the commercial sector to impose enormous price increases on pubs. They shouldn't underestimate how important the sector is: we estimate that Sky now generates £340m annually from pub subscriptions, covering the majority of its £433m outlay on Premiership TV rights."

However a spokesman for Sky questioned how the ALMR's average subscription figure had been arrived at and said:

"Our product helps pubs attract customers and increase sales. We invest almost £1 billion a year in sport and we provide value for money through a year-round schedule of live sport of which the Barclays Premier League is just one important part.

Our customers also benefit from coverage of the UEFA Champions League, World Cup qualifiers, the FA Cup, and Carling Cup as well as live cricket, golf, rugby and rugby union."

ALMR uses football victory to call on Sky to reduce subscription rates >>
BSkyB hits pub operators with 13% subscription hike for football >>

Publicans pray for English success in the World Cup >>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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