PUBLICANS in Cork are grappling with the high costs of screening sports at the moment as Sky has decided to charge establishments at 2019 prices, despite previously costing their subscriptions in line with turnover of the previous year.
Speaking toCork City Chairperson of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) Michael O’Donovan said most members engaging with Sky are finding it very difficult.
“Some pubs are paying over €2,500 for a Sky package with bars at reduced capacity, their turnover is down, but Sky still expects full pay.”
Mr O’Donovan, who runs The Castle Inn on South Main Street, said he believes the company is not willing to listen.
The VFI representative outlined the importance of providing entertainment in pubs and bars and said the content provider had the upper hand at the moment.
“Sky is needed in the industry, most people want to see the match, or the game and at the moment, Sky have a monopoly on that. They have all the main rugby, soccer, golf, American football, horse racing, etc. Sky is the dominant player in the market, it is frustrating they are unwilling to help.”
Mr O’Donovan said some pubs fear losing business if they don't have Sky.
“They are caught between a rock and a hard place. It is either pay full subscription or have no Sky package.” The VFI rep said the organisation is engaging with the company at the moment in an effort to reach a compromise but said this has been difficult.
“There is no negotiating with Sky, we have outlined our concerns, but they don’t talk about price. We are appealing to their nature to have consideration.”
Mr O’Donovan did say that some people are getting 10%, 20% even 30% discount, but said it is not across the board.”
In response to a query from, Sky released a statement that said: “Prior to the planned reopening of indoor hospitality, we notified our customers that their Sky subscription will resume from that date at their pre-Covid pricing, which is in keeping with our approach across all the territories in which we operate.
“We appreciate that this has been a challenging time for the sector. If a customer wants to talk to us about their individual circumstances, they can call our customer service teams who would be happy to help them.”