BskyB share price: Pay-TV giant reaches agreement with BT over European rugby

on Apr 11, 2014
Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Listen, Friday, April 11: British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (LON:BSY) and BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) have reached an agreement to share evenly the broadcasting rights for European club rugby football, marking a rare truce between the fierce rivals.

The two companies faced a potential conflict over the rights after signing separate and incompatible broadcasting deals with different parties. Last month both firms indicated that they were willing to find a peaceful solution to the situation and it appears that they have been successful in their efforts (BT share price: Company and rival BSkyB move closer to deal on European rugby).

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In today’s trading BSkyB shares fell 1.7 percent to 872.35p as of 13:52 BST, cutting their year-to-date rise to 3.5 percent.
The BT share price was 0.53 percent lower at 358p. The company’s stock has fallen 5.6 percent so far this year.
According to reports last night from Sky Sports and ESPN, BSkyB and BT have reached a provisional agreement to jointly broadcast the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup competitions. The former will be introduced in place of the Heineken Cup from the 2014/15 season. The Rugby Challenge Cup is the successor of the Amlin Cup.

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is a good day for rugby. The agreement offers clarity for European rugby and enables the clubs to plan for the future.”
BT Sport director Simon Green also commented: “It is fantastic news for rugby fans that we have reached a deal with Sky Sports. The game of rugby had to come first and both companies have recognised that by showing a high degree of maturity and flexibility.”

**‘Pragmatic solution’**
The conflict between the two companies arose after Sky Sports signed a deal to broadcast European club rugby from next season, while BT agreed an incompatible deal for the European matches of all English clubs.
Analysts at Espirito Santo described the agreement between the two companies as a “pragmatic solution” to the situation. This, however, does not mean that the two rivals would be more likely to compromise on other sports, according to the analysts:

“Extrapolating the agreement to other sports, particularly Premiership football, is probably a step too far at this time given that European Rugby was something of a special situation.”
**As of 14:35 BST buy BSkyB shares at 870.50p**
**As of 14:35 BST sell BSkyB shares at 870.00p**
**As of 14:35 BST buy BT shares at 357.00p**
**As of 14:35 BST sell BT shares at 356.80p**


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