Amongst all the other euphoria over the Lions win and the impending decider on Saturday there has been a call for Sky to allow the BBC to show the game for free or to put it on free view.
The BBC, in particular, has put pressure on the broadcaster to make the match available to as many viewers as possible and held a phone-in debate about the matter on BBC Radio 5 live on Saturday night. There has been a push for the third Test to be shown on Sky’s freeview channel, and it is expected that the campaign will continue throughout this week.
Whilst I agree it would be good for as many people as possible to be able to see the game you have to see it from Sky’s point of view.
It is pure opportunism from the BBC who piss away money on all sorts of rubbish then expect commercial channels to roll over and help out.
Sky Sports, understandably having paid millions for the exclusive rights, are reluctant to do this. It held off a rival bid from BT Sport in 2014 to secure the exclusive live rights to the tour when there were no realistic bids from any of the free-to-air broadcasters.
In addition Sky advertisers who have also paid substantially for the Lions ad breaks would be less than chuffed if the game were to be shown on the BBC.
Real fans without access to Sky will know that there are rugby clubs (including Premiership and Pro12) plus pubs that will be opening their doors early to show the game (and to serve beer and bacon sarnies – something else the BBC don’t offer!).