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After seeing an advert for it during TV coverage of the cricket yesterday, I had a look at the Sky Player to see how easy it was to get the Ashes live on my PC.

Watching it online seems a good alternative to monopolising the TV for five days and boring the rest of my family, so I tried to sign up for it last night, but it wasn't straightforward...

Firstly, as a non-Sky customer (I get Sky Sports through Virgin Media) I'm not entitled to the free broadband coverage that subscribers get, but I would have been more than happy to pay for it as a one-off.

The problem is, to do so I have to sign up for a full Sky subscription online, then pay extra for Sky Sports on top of this, when I am already paying for a cable TV package and all I want is the cricket. 

It seems to me that Sky is missing a trick here, and offering the broadband coverage of the Ashes on a match by match basis could be a useful additional revenue stream,and an attractive proposition for cricket fans without satellite or cable TV subscriptions.

It's also an idea that would  apply to Premier League football. After all, there are plenty of football supporters paying up to £5 per match for illegal streaming of one-off matches who would be happy to pay this, and possibly a bit more, in return for better quality official coverage of matches.

As well as additional revenue, this could benefit Sky by attracting new users, which means new customers to upsell to, providing the company with an online audience willing to pay for content.

Perhaps there is a rights issue I'm not aware of that is preventing Sky from offering such a service, but if not, it seems they are missing an opportunity here...

Graham Charlton

Published 9 July, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Watch Ashes Online Sky Player

Have a look here: I came across the Ashes for £17 http://skyplayer.sky.com/watch/theashes/

Worth a crack at this price I think??

about 7 years ago

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Matthew

I agree. As a sports fan there are various events that I would happily pay £5 to watch on my laptop. Many consumers cannot afford a regular subscription (or only want to watch specific events). Pay as you go does work for boxing although Sky would probably lose subscriptions if they offered this type of service on a regular basis. However, Sky play er is linking up with Microsoft's Xbox 360 so this could be an opportunity for Sky to consider this service or at least improve the offerings of Sky Player.

about 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

I think they have added that offer since last night. £17 might be a tempting price for some, and is certainly better than having to sign up for a full subscription. 

about 7 years ago

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John Denley

I totally agree with you, I for one hate having to pay for all 4 sky sports channels, when all i really want is the occasional cricket match and most rugby matches, I dont want all the other stuff, and they keep shifting which channel the rugby is on too, so I cant just subscribe to say SS3, or SSE, I have to have alll 4 channels... grrrr

about 7 years ago

James Wakeman

James Wakeman, Unsure

SkyPlayer is a nightmare - in terms of ease of use - even if you're a Sky subscriber, so the above is hardly surprising. Glad they seem to have given people the option here though, might be taking them up on it.

about 7 years ago

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Phil

I live in Spain and watched the summer matches against Pakistan on the ESPN player. They also had excellent radio coverage of the T20 world cup. Haven't heard anything about them covering the ashes - hope so as Sky Player and Test Match Special radio coverage isn't available outside of theUK. Cricket coverage is a little thin on the ground here in Spain!

almost 6 years ago

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