Cricket

BT's Ashes deal means Sky Sports are losing the war

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It was not so long ago that Sky Sports were the unparalleled heavyweight of the sporting broadcasting world. They had the Premier League, they had the Champions League, and they had the Ashes. Now, just one of the three remains. 

Their coverage during this year's Ashes series was, as ever, been a joy to behold. The commentating team of David Lloyd, David Gower, Michael Atherton and Michael Holding were as comedically concise as ever. The arrival of Ricky Ponting was another major coup. 

But now BT have changed the landscape all over again. The money they possess means Sky are beginning to bat for the losing side. Their footballing pundits may often be the subject of much mockery, but they're the ones who are laughing the most. 

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Sky slide

BT's decision to gazump Sky's offer for Champions League football in November 2013 announced them as major players in the race to show sport but taking the Ashes from their rivals as well has sent out an even more significant statement. 

They're line-up for European football turned heads, with Gary Lineker, Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes making it a team full of footballing experience and pedigree. In that sense at least they have toppled Sky whose signing of Thierry Henry already seems a long time ago. 

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BT are still experiencing teething problems, but it's Sky who are on the slide at the moment. Losing two of their three diamonds is beginning to raise question marks on whether they can continue to succeed or whether their rivals are in store for a period of dominance. 

The war

The war to show the planet's biggest events will continue to roll on, but with BT's megabucks Sky need a swift response in order to reassure their customers that they remain the best place to watch sport on television. 

Henry was clearly their way of taking the gloss off BT's mega-deal, but whilst the Frenchman brings style and substance to the studios they remain in need of another king of football in order to bite back. 

Sky have shown the Premier League ever since its first weekend back in 1992. When it comes to celebrating their 30-year anniversary in seven years time, football could well have a new home. 

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes

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