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 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish referendum: Police struggle to control Unionist rally in Glasgow's George Square
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...
£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...
£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...
£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...