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Competitive Advantage Case Study

Case Title:

BSkyB: James Murdoch's 'Differentiating' Growth Strategies

Publication Year : 2005

Authors:  Nafis Aziz Hasan, Susmita Nandi

Industry: Entertainment


Case Code: CCA0022

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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In June 2005, the European Commission (EC) passed a directive that proposed to put an end to British Sky Broadcasting’s (BSkyB) exclusive rights over telecasting of FA Premier League football matches. The Commission proposed to split 20%-50% of the rights with another buyer at the next contract renewal due in 2007. Sentanta Sports, a Dublin-based Irish TV group, is vying for a part of the broadcasting rights to strengthen its portfolio of sport rights in and outside of Ireland. Analysts believe that the loss of exclusive rights of BSkyB will reduce the earnings of the clubs in the FA Premier League and may also lead to the bankruptcy of some clubs. On the other hand, some analysts have opined that loss in exclusivity by BSkyB would lead to a greater number of games being aired on 'free-to-air' television benefiting fans across the UK.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the different strategies adopted by BSkyB in the wake of the directive by the EC
  • To discuss the challenges that James Murdoch, Chief Executive of BSkyB faces in trying to retain viewership and maintain the company's position in the competitive broadcasting market

Keywords : BSkyB; European Commission; Setanta Sports; FA Premier League; UK; Personal video recorder; Competition law; Pay-per-view; Segmented pricing strategy; Customer churn rate; Sky Mobile; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; IPTV (TV over Internet protocol); HDTV (High Definition Television); English Cricket Board (ECB); Digital television

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