Sky customers have taken to Twitter to express their discontent over the news that Sky Sports will not be showing the 2019 IPL.
It was confirmed last night that Hotstar had secured the exclusive digital streaming rights to broadcast the competition in the UK. While this doesn’t mean that Sky couldn’t also screen the tournament on TV, they announced today that they would not be showing the competition, saying that “Star India will make use of the rights themselves”.
@SkyHelpTeam Hi I upgraded my sky package to include Sky Sports last month. One of the reasons I did this was to watch the whole of the IPL. In 2018 you signed multiple year deal. I will feel really let down if I Sky do not show it. Please sort this out ASAP @_GC_1 @GeorgeDobell1
— Sports Fanatic (@KKRLFClover) March 19, 2019
Sadness is IMO, but also how can you sign a multi year deal in 2018 and take subscriptions on the basis of having the IPL and then not broadcast it? And it not being broadcast on tv in one of the main cricketing countries is ridiculous.
— Nicky Kirkwood🇪🇺🏴🇿🇦 (@NickyKirkwood) March 19, 2019
In response to a Tweet from Nicky Kirkwood, Sky Help Team responded by saying that although they did announce a multi-year deal, they never explicitly stipulated that this meant consecutive years.
The rights belong to Star India, always have. We negotiated 60 matches last year, in what was to be a multi-year deal, although nowhere did it say multiple consecutive years. This year, Star India have chosen to retain full coverage. Star Plus is available on the Sky guide. ^DW
— Sky Help Team (@SkyHelpTeam) March 19, 2019
One criticism levelled at Sky was that the multi-year deal announced in 2018 was a contributing factor in some customers retaining their subscriptions.
The IPL was a key reason behind my retention of Sky Sports for another year less than a month ago. To advertise something that you now clearly don’t have the rights to is immoral at the very least, not to mention (potentially) illegal
— Nick Sutherland (@suthwrites) March 19, 2019
Other customers asked how they could make a formal complaint regarding the issue.
Hi Sky, is there somewhere that I can make an official complaint regarding this? I would like my voice to be heard that I want IPL to remain on Sky next year!
— ZAK (@Zain_a_k) March 19, 2019
The IPL will still be available for viewing in the UK through Hotstar, who have secured the digital broadcasting rights for the tournament. A Hotstar subscription costs £11.99 a month.
Star TV could still broadcast the competition on UK TV, though they would not confirm that either way when contacted. Wisden have approached Sky for comment but they are yet to respond.