BBC protest leads to Sky U-turn over football deal
Friday 09 May 1997
In mid-afternoon it was revealed that Sky, which owns the rights to all matches in next month's Tournoi de France, had refused BBC Radio 5 Live access to commentate on the matches after the most cursory of negotiations.
Mike Lewis, controller of BBC Radio sports rights, said: "Sky are not prepared to do any sort of deal. I made an offer, but it was never discussed. They stalled and stalled then said: `We're simply not prepared to do a deal with you'.
"I understand Capital Radio [the other station which regularly covers England matches] have been told the same."
Then it emerged that Sky was dealing instead with independent companies who had put together programmes to be sold to individual commercial stations. This is how the Pepsi Network chart show is produced and sold. This was seen as a way of maximising potential pay-per-view income while minimising public outcry. Allowing the matches to be broadcast meant Sky could defend the use of pay-per-view in the knowledge that it was not competing with Radio 5 Live, a well-resourced station which football fans are in the habit of listening to.
At this point Sky, which has profited from pay-per-view coverage on the Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno fight and Naseem Hamed's bouts, refused to confirm buying the rights.
However, as the BBC's protests sparked a flurry of press inquiries and the Football Association made their views "abundantly clear", to Sky the channel suddenly performed an apparent U-turn. Its press office began calling journalists with the statement: "Radio rights for the Tournoi will be made available to all UK radio stations free of charge."
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...