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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Publicans angry as cost of Sky hits €1,200 a month

Brian Byrne

Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30

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From left: Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney with hurling analysts Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning, and GAA anchor Rachel Wyse in their studio before the Kilkenny v Offaly game at Nowlan Park

PUBLICANS have hit out at Sky over a planned hike in subscription fees from August 1.

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Pubs will be expected to pay up to €1,224 a month to continue screening a full range of live sporting events.

Sky recently started showing GAA championship games and will screen its first All-Ireland final in September.

Vintners pay between €389 and €945 for Sky's business packages, depending on the pub's annual turnover and the services it wishes to access. Under the increases the cheapest package will be €420 and the most expensive will be €1,224.

The packages, Sky Ultimate and Sky Ultimate Plus, differ from residential packages with a focus on live sporting events.

Excessive

Chief executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland Padraig Cribben said that Sky's fees were "already way too excessive" and described the plan as a "very unwelcome move".

The owner of the Two Sisters Pub in Terenure, south Dublin, Deirdre Devitt, said the business already paid €1,000 a month for Sky, but that it "can't afford not to have it".

Ms Devitt said: "One of the biggest costs for our business at the moment is Sky. To hear they're increasing it by a further 8pc is just damning."

Ms Devitt, also owner of Devitts Pub on Camden Street in the city centre, said Heineken Cup rugby, premiership football and other sporting events offered by Sky were a "huge part" of the two businesses.

A Sky spokesperson said: "Sky is committed to investing in the very best live content to drive value for licensees. In addition to the ever popular Premier League and Champions League football and forthcoming Ryder Cup, Sky Sports has added GAA and Pro 12 Rugby to its content line up this year."

"Our price rise, the first in four years, means that we can continue to deliver great content," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson also confirmed that a comparable hike was also planned for the UK.

Irish Independent

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