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Current as of 19/09/14 07:40PM NZST

Sky TV's sports pack fails to please

By James Wheeler

Photo / Kenny Rodger
Photo / Kenny Rodger

Sky TV customers are calling for a rethink of their subscription packages after changes left some unimpressed with cost and service.

Herald readers have said they will quit Sky TV after a $25 increase per month for basic package subscribers to keep American Sports channel ESPN.

But Sky TV has defended the move and says there are no plans to change.

Customers Dianne Drew and her husband Robert are unhappy with the removal of ESPN from the basic package because they lived in the United States and enjoy American sports with a passion.

"Coming from Portland, Oregon, the only sports channel we want is ESPN," said Mrs Drew.

ESPN is now in the sports package, which includes four other sports channels and costs $25.29 per month on top of the basic package price.

Mt Eden customer Edgar Mason is also unsure about paying an extra $25 to continue watching ESPN.

"I have no intention of paying for all the other Sky Sport channels when they have so little of interest to me," he said.

"League and union replays, soccer and retired footballers discussing the breakdown rule is hardly worth $25 a month."

Mission Bay resident Stephen Moore believes his monthly subscription , which consists of a basic package and a sports package, isn't worth the extra cost.

"We rarely watch the basic Sky. At now approximately $70 per month, Sky is very poor value."

"We don't ever watch Shine TV, Maori TV, Cue, Stratos, TAB, Travel, Tahu nor Trackside just to name a few - could we not swap all of these for ESPN?"

However, Sky TV's cost is competitive compared to overseas Pay TV providers.

FOXTEL, a leading television provider in Australia, offers a basic package worth A$75 ($98) per month. A sports package add-on is offered for A$15 more, taking the monthly total to A$90.

Sky TV's corporate communications manager, Kirsty Way, said it was felt ESPN would "fit most appropriately in the sports package".

"We wanted to offer a fantastic sports tier package and with ESPN five channels are now available."

There were several complaints about taking ESPN away from the basic package a week before the NBA finals were to start.

Mrs Way said this decision was not deliberate and had been planned for a predetermined date of June 1. She said a month's written notice was also given to all Sky TV customers.

The package system of selling channels to customers was priced "in a way that people get the best deal."

Moving ESPN reduced the cost of the basic package, she said.

- NZ Herald

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