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PREMIER LEAGUE VOTES TO DELAY BSKYB PLANNED PPV SERVICE
Published June 1, 1998
BSkyB's hopes for its new digital TV service "were dealt a blow" on Friday, when soccer's Premier League "rejected a proposal from the company to show live games" on a PPV basis next season, according to Harverson & Newman of the FINANCIAL TIMES. BSkyB "had proposed" offering subscribers to its 200 new digital satellite channels 144 Premier games via PPV, with the revenue being split equally with the league's 20 clubs. Soccer "has been a key driver of subscription for BSkyB, and the company had hoped" to use live PPV matches to "persuade customers to sign up to digital." But at the annual meeting, the Premier League Chair "rejected" the plan (FINANCIAL TIMES, 5/30). The FINANCIAL TIMES' "Lex Column" wrote that the Premier League's decision "certainly does not put the digital launch at risk." The clubs may "sign up" if the "terms are sweetened," and they will experiment "with pay-per-view because they want it to succeed" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 5/30).