Sky Sports

Gary Neville: from nervous presenter to football’s spokesman

It’s the day after Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football and alongside fellow lead pundit Jamie Carragher, Neville had spent one of the programme’s pre-match segments discussing club ownership in light of Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich problem. It turns out not everyone appreciated his U-turn on the issue, arguing now that all clubs owned by states should be called into question, including Manchester City. But when it’s your job to give your opinion on debates fuelled by the fiercest of club loyalties, bollockings are par for the course.

The mixing of sport's TV economy

It’s more of a trickle than a flood, but live sport is returning to free-to-air television. Women’s football, cricket’s new The Hundred competition and, most recently, Super League rugby have all signed deals that give terrestrial TV the right to show some live matches.

Super League rugby games will air on free-to-air TV for the first time in the competition’s history in 2022 after a two-year deal was agreed with Channel 4. Sky Sports will show the overwhelming majority of fixtures, while Channel 4 will show 10 games.

A cagey game for sports rights

India vs England second Test, 2021 (Credit: BCCI/Pankaj Nangia)

The topsy-turvy Test series in India is bringing much-needed entertainment – though, latterly, little cheer for England fans – during lockdown. When time is hard to fill, what could be better than six hours plus of cricket a day shown on free-to-air TV.

There were many raised eyebrows when Channel 4 bought the rights to the four-Test series. Why would a channel that prides itself on risk-­taking and a young demographic clear its morning schedules for a game with an elderly and declining fan base?

Winners, losers and own goals: Live sport in lockdown

At an RTS event in September, some of the leading figures in sports broadcasting recalled the moment when the Covid-19 lockdown brought down the curtain on live sport in the UK.

“It was a moment that had been coming,” said Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster, looking back to the March lockdown. “Our Italian colleagues were ahead of us in terms of the virus and their sport. It was only a matter of time.

Winners, Losers and Own Goals - Live Sport in Lockdown

How do you manage an entirely live sports TV channel – without any live sports taking place? With no sport and no fans, this panel will investigate how the ever-resilient TV industry adapted to fill entire daily schedules which suddenly became empty overnight.

We will hear from major sporting brands in the UK to find out their initial and then longer-term approach. The panel will talk about the innovative ways broadcasters, programme makers and the wider sports industry adapted to the challenging circumstances – and the value new and existing technology delivered.

Can Amazon top the league of sports broadcasters?

Liverpool's striker Mohamed Salah (credit: AP Photo/Jon Super)

A run-of-the-mill English Premier League fixture on a Tuesday evening early next month is set to be one of the most significant football matches to be played in more than two decades.

That is because the game between Crystal Palace and Bournemouth will be the first ever to be broadcast live and exclusively by one of the tech giants.

Amazon, the global digital platform and retailer, is showing this and 19 other Premier League games to UK audiences during December via its subscription service Amazon Prime after paying about £90m for a three-year deal.