Posted 17 January 2006 - 11:01 AM
My take is BBC World US will most likely launch on DirecTV sometime in '06. DirecTV needs a International news channel since they drop NewsWorld.
As far as Sky News, One would think it should be on now since it's a sister station of Fox News, but as everyone knows, Fox News didn't want Sky news on DirecTV from the very beginning.
One thing that would make Sky News valuable for DirecTV is Sky News can use it's "Active" service with DirecTV enabled receivers. I know DirecTV is trying to get both Sky and DirecTV receivers on the same page with NDS receiver software. If both DirecTV and Sky can get the "Active" service going for Sky News on DirecTV and have Fox News start their "Active" service for both DirecTV and Sky viewers, then I can see Sky News coming within the next year or so.
As far as the Sky Sports Channels, I would say, if at all possible, only Sky Sports 1 & 2 would come to DirecTV. Sky Sports 3 & Xtra have the niche sports we see here in the US and would be Blacked out 90% percent of the time. The Sky Sports Networks could do something like what Setanta sports has done, establish a US entity, then buy programming from big brother of the sports you would like to cover. It seems very easy but it's not.
You're probably thinking well, isn't Fox Soccer Channel a sister station for Sky Sports? Well, yes and no. Fox Soccer Channel and Sky Sports are part of the News Corp family but Fox Soccer Channel falls under the Fox Sports World International group which Sky Sports doesn't. That means the Fox Sports World International group buys programming for Fox Soccer Channel. It buys the 1 hour segment of Sky Sports News from Sky Sports. Sky Sports has it's own seperate entity.
The next problem to launch Sky Sports 1 & 2 is programming rights. Right now, Setanta Sports has programming rights from Sky Sports to show the following:
Coca Cola Championship
Scottish FA Cup
British & Irish Lions Tour
Super 12s/Super 14s
Fox Soccer Channel has the following rights from both Sky Sports and the Football Association of England:
Barclays English Premier League
The FA Cup
1 Hour Segment - Sky Sports News
ESPN has the following rights:
UEFA Champions League
Dish Network has the following rights from the English and Wales Cricket Board:
England Cricket Home tours for 2006 through 2009
DISH Network may also offer over the next four years:
England Senior Women International Matches (both one-day internationals and test matches) and Under 19 England and Women International Matches played in England and Wales.
Twenty/20 County Cup matches.
National Cricket League County matches.
C&G Trophy County matches.
The Cricket rights, to me, is the dagger of not launching Sky Sports in the US. Since Sky Sports coverage of Cricket dominates most of the UK summer viewing, Sky Sports US would be blacked out most of the summer since Dish Network has the rights. To my dismay, I was shocked DirecTV was not able to renew those rights.
Lastly, Sky Sports News would have to be a Newscorp and Sky Sports decision to spend money on launching a Sports News service without it's 2 main channels.
The times I 've been to London, I do enjoy watching Sky News and Sky Sports. The only questions reamins is will Newscorp spend money on launching and buying sports rights for Sky News and Sky Sports? We shall see in the months to come......