Thats my pick. I doubt anyone else can provide a full sports package, as Sky also include commentary and other addons for local, or Kiwi oriented events. And if others provided individual sports on subscription, I doubt that would weigh up. And that removes a whole lot of convenience for the public
Yes, I have to admit that Sky do a bang-up job of sports coverage, especially the rugby and cricket. That's why I shell out for Fanpass when the Black Caps are playing.
The thing is Sky have a (near) monopoly on sport, and it's the only ace card they currently hold.
If they were to lose a big ticket item like the rugger, then bye Sky.
And, yes, they do a good job with it, but if another provider was to give access, say, to core games only at a cheaper price, how many would be prepared to forgo the additional commentaries and add-ons? A lot I reckon.
If another did pick up the key sports, they will have to charge a key price. Say a big rugger game. But as thats a core game, the rest is on Sky, so will they cancel Sky to watch one core game that they have to pay for? No. Will they pay extra for that core game? yes, no choice, as your example has a monopoly. Its actually a monopoly caused by the game promoter. You would need one, or a few providers to cover the key sports. Then we would need to get a few subs to get what Sky had. I doubt that will save mega bucks, as at the end of the day, the same huge dollars are being paid to the few sporting owners, and we, the public, need to cover that. Should Sky disband Basic being required to get Sport, they should remove the subsidy, so Basic is cheap, and Sport is what it really costs, I suggest $60, as is NowTV sport option. Sky could say, combine Basic and Neon. Discount if you have Sport, lots of options to mess around with pricing, demand, stickability, convenience. I find all this fascinating. Market forces at work. Thats is, assuming this all plays out.
I think they should cut the subsidy for sport from the Basic package. It'd be interesting to know how much this is, and whether or not they'd make it back by transferring it to the sub for Sport.
I'd imagine that if (say) the subsidy was $25/month from Basic to Sport, a percentage (maybe quite a high percentage ~10%?) would then drop Sport, and keep Basic at $25/month, meaning Sky has lost that revenue altogether making the pot smaller next time they go to bid for rights. Which will be why they haven't done it.
If Sky Basic ($50) + Sport (25) + HD (10) = $85 and Sky Basic (25) + Sport (50) and HD (10) = $85, do you think that all those people subscribed to those will keep them if the pricing model changed to the latter equation? I'm not sure they would. I know that if we still had Sky at home, and the model changed to the latter (or something like it) I would come under a heap of pressure to ditch sport, or only subscribe for the month that I needed it, meaning Sky's ARPU drops, and the pot is smaller for bidding for sports, starting a downward spiral.
Sport is sport, they would keep it, if the subsidy was switched. Basic and Sport would still cost the same. Some would get Sky if Basic was $25 cheaper though.