Noel Curran concerned by BT business model
Sports rights “bubble” has consequences for Irish media market, says RTÉ boss
Noel Curran: DG of RTE
Sports rights inflation hasn’t gone unnoticed at RTÉ, which early on in its cost-cutting process identified lower spending in this area as one of its main targets for slash-and-burn.
“We need to get these rights down, but the market is just extraordinarily difficult,” he said, citing BT’s decision to offer its newly-acquired Premier League football matches free to British broadband subscribers. “That’s a whole different business model,” Curran said. “Not only are sports rights being driven by very large companies, but there are these other large companies that see it as an add-on to their core product, and that has implications for RTÉ.”
The latest three-year television deals agreed by the Premier League with Sky and BT saw the two companies pay a record £3 billion for football rights – an increase of more than 70 per cent on the size of the previous set of rights.