Sky Sports ‘day passes’ bought by 50,000 viewers

Tens of thousands have paid £9.99 for 24 hours of access to the satellite broadcaster's premium sports channels

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More than 50,000 people have taken up Sky’s £9.99 sport “day pass” offer since it was launched three months ago, the company has revealed. 

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The service allows Sky subscribers who do not pay for Sky Sports as part of their usual package to purchase 24 hours of access to the broadcaster’s six premium sports channels and watch coverage including live English Premier League games and Test Match cricket.

The sports day pass was added to Sky’s heavily-marketed Now TV internet service which also allows users to stream movies and is designed to combat the commercial threat of on-demand services such as Netflix.

Another new rival to BSkyB is BT, which has entered the sports rights marketplace with a three-year deal to show 38 English Premiership games exclusively.

The news from Sky comes in the same week that BT revealed it had attracted more than 500,000 households to sign up for its sports channels.

Most are already BT broadband customers, who have now been asked to sign 12-month contracts.

BT’s current deal will see it feature 38 live Premier League games each year for the next three seasons, including 18 ‘first pick’ matches. There will also be live games from other leagues around the world – including Germany, France, Italy and Brazil – as well as FA Cup ties, the UEFA Europa League and the Scottish Premier League.

The service will be available for free to all BT Broadband subscribers but the company has hinted that its offer of “free” Premier League football for broadband customers could have a shelf life.

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Sky has 116 games a season over the same period.