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Shake-up will see more European rugby included within Sky Sport.
Sky Television will drop its Rugby Channel, which it currently sells as an $8.81-a-month add-on, and switch all the programming it shows to its regular Sky Sport service, which will include a new “24×7” channel dedicated to rugby.
Sky spokeswoman Kristy Martin said the change at the end of next month would mean Sky Sport customers would be able to get all the programming now on the Rugby Channel without having to pay extra.
No programming would be lost, she said.
The company set out the change in a letter to customers, which also said Sky would have a “hugely expanded” Sky Sport channel line-up from the beginning of August.
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The axing of the Rugby Channel appears an acknowledgement from Sky that it had not managed to “upsell” enough customers to the specialist channel to make it worth carving it out into a separate paid offering, and that it was better-off bundling the documentaries, replays and European fixtures it showed into Sky Sport to improve that product.
Sky’s director of sport, Tex Teixeira, said the change came in response to customer feedback.
“We are focused on improving our offer for our loyal and valued customers. Removing the Rugby Channel fee and making the channel’s content available to all Sky Sport customers follows a move to show all our secondary school rugby on regular Sky Sport channels earlier this year,” he said.
“We want to show our customers that we’re committed to doing the right thing by them. This change is the first of a number of changes coming to Sky Sport in August, and we look forward to sharing more on those soon,” he said.