Sky Sports to launch new channel which will offer free Premier League matches
Sky has announced that subscribers to its basic packages will be able to watch selected live Premier League fixtures at no extra cost from next season.
A new channel, Sky Sports Mix, will be available to subscribers when it launches in the summer with football, as well as golf and cricket, on offer. Sky estimates the new channel will have an annual reach of 17million viewers.
The Sky Sports channels come at an additional cost to the basic Sky TV subscription.
"From the launch (of Sky Sports Mix) this summer viewers can look forward to regular live football from competitions including La Liga, MLS, FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers, as well as a select number of Premier League and Football League matches," its statement read.
There are no firm figures on the number of Premier League that will be made available on the new channel and Press Association Sport understands none of the games considered to be the main attractions for premium Sky Sports subscribers will be included.
"With Sky Sports Mix, we are giving millions more people access to great moments from some of the world's biggest sporting events at no extra cost," Barney Francis, Sky Sports' managing director, said.
"Our aim is to offer sport in a way that can engage, encourage and excite everyone even further."
Sky will be hoping the free tasters can drive up Sky Sports subscriptions after the company paid £4.2billion in the last round of television rights deals.
That is an increase of 83 per cent from its last deal and will see regular Friday night Premier League games played, and screened on Sky, for the first time from next season.