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Wed 27th May 2015 - Sky freezes prices, offers licensees £1,200 a year to show digital advertising in their pubs
Sky freezes prices, offers licensees £1,200 a year to show digital advertising in their pubs: Sky Sports has frozen subscription prices for the forthcoming season. The company has also partnered with Molson Coors to roll out a scheme that will see licensees paid up to £1,200 a year to show digital advertising on screens in their pubs. The free 22-inch screens will allow licensees to promote their own events and special offers, as well as showing ads for Sky Sports programmes and Molson Coors products. The scheme, called UpLift Media, sees screens placed behind the bar and in one other high-footfall area to show up to 12 ads on a two-minute rotation. Licensees will get a fixed monthly payment from Sky and Molson Coors worth between £600 and £1,200 a year, depending on whether they are Sky and Molson Coors customers or not. They can choose which sports and fixtures to promote on the digital screens, or they can let Sky manage this automatically. Pub customers can also be kept up to date with breaking news in the world of sport via a live sports news feed on the screens. The initial rollout of UpLift Media starts this month, with 100 pubs already participating and an initial phase one target of 2,000 screens in 1,000 selected pubs, to create what Sky says is planned to be the largest network of digital advertising screens in the UK pub industry. Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said the partners were working with both pub companies and individual licensees to install the UpLift Media system. She told Propel: “Licensees will be able to advertise their own offers and events, as well as being able to promote whichever of the live Sky Sports fixtures they choose to promote.” The scheme is being promoted across the country, she said, but with an initial concentration on metropolitan areas with high footfall, to maximise the advertising revenue. Pub landlords “will have the ability to create their own content” to show on the screens, she said, either doing it themselves on their own PCs or letting Sky do it for them. Those pubs who have taken UpLift media screens already “are loving the fact that it’s a free product that is generating them some money, via a series of fixed monthly payments from us to them,” Dolan said. “They’re also loving the fact that it’s a much sharper, more eye-catching alternative to fixed posters for advertising their own events, menus and promotions.” Of the prize freeze and the new initiative Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Sky’s commitment to freezing prices and customer support under its Go Further range is welcome news for licensees facing tightening margins in an increasingly competitive marketplace. There was concern amongst the licensed trade that customers would bear the burden of a very competitive battle to retain television rights of Premier League football and it is pleasing to see, at least in the short term, that this has not been the case. A price freeze will provide licensees with some degree of assurance, but we would like to see Sky match its commitment to broadcasting Premier League football for the foreseeable future with a commitment to sustainable pricing for licensees. Although Sky will be broadcasting a considerable number of Premier League fixtures, pubs and bars will have to look to their competitors for other competitions such as the UEFA Champions League and this brings increased costs. Research carried out by the ALMR showed that around 40% of licensed premises have a subscription, with the average annual cost across the ALMR’s membership standing at £15,000. There is clearly an appetite for enjoying live sport in the pub and this price restraint should give the sector confidence, provided they are not footing the bill for an expensive broadcasting package in the long term.”

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