Sky is looking to shake up its sports offering. According to the Guardian, the broadcaster will rebrand its channels to focus on different sports – these will be Sky Sports Football (which will have two channels), Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Cricket. These will replace the current Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 etc. numbering system.
The existing Sky Sports F1 channel is thought to remain.
All other sports will find a home in a new channel called Sky Sports Arena.
Sky will offer these channels individually, meaning it can charge less – its cheapest sports package is thought to cost £18 a month, which is cheaper than the current cheapest option at £49.50.
Sky's reasons are thought to be two-fold. Firstly, it wants to reverse falling viewing figures by offering cheaper packages – streaming services Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are a lot cheaper than Sky per month, though of the two, only Amazon offers live sport.
Secondly, Sky will be able to look at viewing figures for each channel and work out how popular each sport is with its viewers, and hence how valuable it is to Sky. It can then adjust its bids for big events accordingly.
In 2015, Sky paid £4.2 billion for multi-year live rights to Premier League matches – that's up 83 per cent on what it paid for the previous deal. Undoubtedly competition from BT Sport – which shares Premier League rights with Sky – has played a part in this.