Sky ‘are unlikely to offer Premier League coverage for free in the future’ as the broadcaster reveals that 80 per cent of its customers paused their sports subscriptions during the Covid-19 shutdown.
Sky will show 64 of the remaining 92 Premier League matches this season with 25 on their free-to-air channel Pick. This includes Sunday night’s Merseyside derby.
Live Premier League football action is set to return to Sky Sports on Wednesday evening
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville gives his opinions during a Premier League game this season
However, the Financial Times report such largesse is unlikely to occur in the future with Sky negotiating rebates from the billions it has paid out to acquire top-level sports rights.
The Premier League has agreed to return £170million to Sky, part of a total of £330m being demanded by the English top-flight’s domestic and international broadcast partners.
However, this will be deferred until next season, giving breathing space for the 20 clubs who will be missing out on matchday income with games played behind closed doors.
Sky are offering viewers the chance to watch games in a group chat and pick chants
It’s unlikely that Sky will offer more Premier League games free-to-air after this season
The Financial Times reports Sky have also been negotiating rebates with Formula One, the ECB and other sporting events it holds the rights to.
In the absence of live sport during the coronavirus shutdown, 80 per cent of Sky’s customers took advantage of the option to pause their subscription and save money. These will now be reactivated as the Premier League returns.
The 92 remaining games this season will be shared between Sky, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC.
It is the first time the Corporation has televised top-flight matches live during the post-1992 Premier League era.