Sky has reached a series of agreements with sports rights bodies that will cut its expenditure as the broadcaster looks to offset losses after coronavirus hit its live schedules.
In an interview with Financial Times, Rob Webster, managing director of Sky Sports, said the rebates would “mitigate the impact on our business [from] the lack of live sport over the past 12 weeks”, describing the deals as “balanced and fair”.
Ahead of the Premier League’s return on Wednesday, Sky has secured a £170 million rebate, part of £330 million being demanded by broadcasters at home and abroad.
The UK’s four rights holders, BT, Sky, Amazon and the BBC will between them screen all of the 92 remaining matches in the Premier League season, bringing cheer to fans that will not be allowed into stadiums as a result of restrictions brought about by Covid-19.
Sky has also been in negotiation with the organisers of Formula One and the English Cricket Board, both of which are expected to resume in the next few weeks.
The coronacrisis has shone a light on the importance of live sports to pay-TV companies, which have instead turned to scripted drama, itself only just getting underway in the UK after lockdown restrictions were eased by the UK government.