What are Sky not telling their shareholders?


Sky Network Television Limited?looks like a pretty solid investment. ?They seem to have an unassailable position in the market. ?Where else do you go for your live NRL, IPL, various World Cups and All Blacks?

Throng reports

The FIFA World Cup began this morning and like practically every other sporting event, Sky has the monopoly on it. Sport is possibly the most compelling reason why anyone would become a Sky subscriber and while a lot of content can be sourced from elsewhere, it is sport that gifts Sky its dominant position. That is, up until now.

Last week it was reported that there are possibly 30,000 subscribers in New Zealand to the US streaming service Netflix. While many are happy to pay money to access scripted content from foreign streaming services, there is a belief that the only option for viewing sport is through Sky. The reality is that just like Netflix, much of the sport content New Zealanders love to watch is also available via reputable and legitimate sources and the method to gain access is identical.

This poses a real threat to Sky and all they seem to be doing is attempting to appeal to people?s morals because at this point, the general consensus seems to be that it isn?t illegal.

We gave Sky multiple opportunities to address questions about this and the implications this has on their business but in every instance they declined to comment. This leaves us wondering why they might be reluctant to take a public position on this. Is it simply that there is nothing they can do about it?

On Sky?s fighting privacy page, there is a lot of talk about prosecuting businesses who use domestic subscriptions for commercial purposes. There is no mention of using streaming services and Sky refused to discuss this with us. The reality is, there appears to be nothing stopping a bar, for example, choosing to stream every readily available NRL, Super Rugby or All Blacks game by parallel importing that content.

30,000 Netflix subscribers may not be of great concern to Sky but you can be certain that 30,000 fewer sport subscribers would be.

I know individuals who have already worked out how to get HD streaming of sports. ?How long before the cat is out of the bag among the general population and it is going to chew into Sky’s profits?

FIFA?is streaming The Soccer World Cup to lots of countries. ?All you have to do is go to the FIFA web site and follow your nose. ?The only step is to fool the FIFA stream to think you are in one of those countries and you have your own live feed.

30,000 paying Netflix customers already know how to do it. ? That number can only get larger.



30,000 subscribers may not be a lot to Sky, yet, but at what point are they going to feel the pinch?