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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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Plan on watching the next Lions Tour? You'll need a Sky subscription

The broadcaster has tied up six long-term rights agreements as it bids to keep BT Sport at bay.

If you want to see George North do this to an All Black in 2017, you'll need Sky.
If you want to see George North do this to an All Black in 2017, you'll need Sky.
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

SKY STRUCK A blow in the battle of the broadcasters by announcing long-term rights agreements in six different sports including exclusive live coverage of the 2017 Lions Tour to New Zealand.

The news, which comes ahead of rival BT Sport’s quarterly results tomorrow, covers five-year deals in Super League, Speedway and WWE as well as a seven-year deal with New Zealand cricket which will include England’s upcoming tours in 2018 and 2020.

They will also bulk up their Scottish football offering, adding the Scottish Cup, Scottish FA Youth Cup and Scotland’s international friendlies in an exclusive four-year deal from next season.

Sky has long been dominant player in the pay TV market but their stranglehold has been threatened by BT.

The newcomers made a bold statement last year when they splashed out over €1 billion for the exclusive rights to the Champions League.

But today’s announcement comes on the back of “strong growth in audience,” Sky said.

“In the last six months of 2013, Sky Sports enjoyed its highest share of viewing for six years, including increased audiences for live Premier League football and its biggest-ever audience for rugby union.”

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Niall Kelly

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