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Sky ousts Channel 4 in BT Sport ad sales role

The advertising arm of UK pay-television broadcaster Sky has been appointed to exclusively sell advertising and sponsorship for the BT Sport subscription channels, replacing free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4 in the role.

Sky Media has been awarded a ‘multi-year’ contract after a ‘competitive tender process’ carried out by BT Sport.

The contract includes the sale of advertisements and sponsorships across the BT Sport channels’ residential and commercial feeds, plus the BT Sport app and website.

Sky Media already sells advertising and commercial inventory for all of Sky’s channels and on behalf of other broadcasters and channels active in the UK, including Channel 5, Discovery and Viacom.

The deal announced today (Thursday) is the latest example of closer ties between the rival pay-television sports broadcasters.

A wholesale deal in 2017 allowed Sky to sell the BT Sport channels directly to its satellite customers as part of a reciprocal agreement with BT that saw the integration of Sky’s OTT service, NowTV, into the telco’s platform.

That was followed in 2018 by an agreement for Sky to become BT Sport’s exclusive distribution partner in Ireland.

Earlier this year, Sky then incorporated the BT Sport channels into two new subscription packages, allowing customers to access the latter’s content without a separate contract with the telco.

On the new advertising inventory agreement, Andy Haworth, managing director of BT Sport said: “We are excited to be forging a new partnership with the Sky Media team, whose expertise in the sport market stood out, we are excited about the new opportunities this will bring and look forward to working together.”

Patrick Béhar, Sky’s chief business officer, added: “This new agreement between BT Sport and Sky Media is just another step forward in deepening the longstanding partnership between BT and Sky. From rolling out our world-class entertainment on BT TV through our NowTV service, and reaching a deal to offer both parties’ sports offerings in one place earlier this year, our relationship is going from strength to strength.

“This latest agreement is another perfect fit for both of us and it will mean Sky Media can offer clients all the best sports advertising available in the UK, in one place.”