I have previously spoken about broadcasting and the Premier League on this blog on numerous occasion (see here and here) and have a more detailed analysis of supply in the market published in the Journal of Sports Economics (see here). Things have developed further for customers in the Republic of Ireland since the return of the Premier League last week. Let's take a closer look.
To summaries what I have previously said, it seems that customers of subscription television were best off when the service was provided by a monopoly. The best of all scenarios was the free-to-air model that existed until 1992 for top tier English football. However, following BSkyB's purchasing of the rights from the 1992/93 season, consumer surplus started to be reduced. The European ruling to ban monopoly selling of broadcasting rights from 2006/07 resulted two providers selling the product. This will move to 3 this year in the UK, with the arrival of Amazon, and 4 in the Republic of Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland is not subject to the 3pm Saturday blackout rule in the UK. As such live games can be screened on television. Premier Sports has the right to screen these games. During 2017/18, these games came as part of the Sky Sports subscription.
Sky now sells both BT Sport and Premier Sports as part of an "extra" sports package, with the pricing varying initially from between €10 and about €17 depending on circumstances. An extra payment of somewhere between €20 and €40 is required for Sky Sports. While customers are receiving a reduced rate in many cases buy the BT Sport and Premier Sports subscription, the irony of course is that people are now paying for something (3pm Saturday game) that they were getting for free last year!
if you are paying the extra charge, you are getting BT Sports. The rest is hardly extra. And if Premier Sports is to be considered extra, Sky Sports customers are then arguably getting less during 2019/20 then they were in 2018/19, aside from 2 additional games.