The end of Sky Television?

Last updated 11:25 21/06/2013

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For the last few days a centre point of conversation among sports fans in New Zealand has been of the switch of football from your TV screen to your laptop.

Coliseum Sports Media will provide a live stream of all the premier league games throughout the season to your lap top or your smart phone, iPad or Apple TV.

They are the pioneers of this industry in New Zealand and possibly worldwide, so they do expect to have some teething issues surrounding skeptical people not trusting the technology due to New Zealand's currently poor (let's face it) internet stream.

Coliseum's founder and director, Timothy Martin, admitted it was unclear how many English Premier League fans there were in New Zealand, which poses a potential hiccup due to the cheapest package being $150 NZD.

Sky TV's CEO John Fellet has made clear that they put their biggest bid ever in for the rights, only to fall short.

I feel they have taken a gamble on allowing someone else to walk in and take a piece of the proverbial pie. Holding a monopoly on live sport has been the main reason why Kiwis have been attracted to Sky and is why they are willing to pay $70 - $90 per month for a package bundle of channels, the majority of which they would not watch.

It is well known that some people will refuse to pay for Sky, even though it is within their financial means, due to the costs associated with the channels they will not use.

These two ventures, one being a long term stronghold of Kiwis living rooms which people cannot live without and the other being the modern, on-the-go and technological resolution to this fast-paced world we live in, both provide interesting insight into war strategies being used in the business world today.

Coliseum has looked into what SKY does not provide, or provides poorly. It is mainly the issue of the package bundle but also the viewing to be restricted to inside the home. By providing the EPL, which by Fellet's own admission receives less attention than a local A League game by 4-1, they are flanking Sky from the fringes. 

Even though Sky still has all the other sports, people may realise that having the luxury of being able to choose when where and how you watch sport is a better alternative to forking out big bucks for Sky. 

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If this venture was to work it could lead to Coliseum expanding to other sports markets such as rugby, league and cricket.

Eventually you have a situation where people actually have a choice on what they want to watch. This means they are not only competing directly with Sky, they are gaining new customers who disagreed with the concept of the package bundle from the outset.

The main and relatively large obstacle facing Coliseum is the fact the consumer has become comfortable with SKY and like any long term relationship learned to love its faults and savour its finer moments. Being able to sit down, turn on the TV and watch what is available is perfectly acceptable for some.

You don't hear too many David v Goliath business takeover stories these days but in a market scenario such as this, one must fall in order for the other to succeed. If this new age way of television viewing was to take off over the next few years Sky TV would be in serious trouble.

As in any war the army with the best vantage point always has the upper hand on the battlefield. Sky TV in this instance must now make the next move. A sly swipe has been made by Coliseum to disrupt what has become an extra addition to the family in many Kiwi households and to remove them will require a long term plan.

The top dog has been shown that there is a new cat in town; we will just have to wait and see if this is a flop or perhaps the beginning of the end for TV as we know it.

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