Sky Sports and BT Sport have suspended billing their commercial customers (pubs/bars) due to the coronavirus pandemic that has halted practically all live sport around the world.
Sky Sports suspended its fees earlier this week (March 14) for live sports and will not resume it “until a live sport schedule returns” and BT Sport similarly said that it will “suspend billing for pubs and clubs customers for a two week period,”.
“This is a goodwill gesture that we are putting in place while we monitor the situation,” said a statement from BT Sport. “We will keep customers updated as the situation develops.”
Simon Raggett, managing director of Sky Business, said: “We understand that these are challenging times for many of our Sky Business venues, who rely on showing live sport in a social environment to attract customers and revenue. Supporting these businesses and doing what we can to help them in uncertain times is very important to us. We would like to reassure our Sky Business venues we will not be charging them for their Sky Sports service until a live sport schedule returns.”
The move follows calls from one trade sector for sports broadcasters to support the industry with a suspension of payments as they battle with reduced footfall and the recent call by Boris Johnson for people to avoid pubs.