Sky TV launches pay-per-view ads

Sky Television launches an ad campaign this week to persuade its subscribers to pay for the UK’s first pay-per-view sports event.

The 500,000 press, poster and radio campaign for the Frank Bruno versus Mike Tyson World Heavyweight Title Fight on March 16 will seek to defuse opposition to making subscribers pay 9.95 to receive live coverage of the event.

The fight will be positioned by the campaign as the focal part of a full weekend’s sports coverage, says Sky marketing director Philip Ley.

The campaign, created in-house and with The Design Clinic, carries the theme: “Sky Unleashes The Greatest Ever 24 hours of TV Sport.”

Also taking place on the same weekend will be the World Cup Cricket final, the big Celtic v Rangers and Everton v Leeds football matches, and boxer Prince Naseem’s first world title defence fight.

“While none of these other events will be pay-per-view, together they represent an unprecedented weekend’s coverage,” he says.

Sky maintains pay-per-view is necessary to ensure live coverage of the Bruno-Tyson fight in the UK. Bruno’s last fight on Sky achieved satellite’s largest audience – estimated at 18 million, including viewing in pubs and clubs.

Sky claims to have received only isolated complaints from subscribers. “We believe our subscribers understand this is the only way Sky could bring the fight to the UK,” says Ley.

Sky will offer the coverage free to non-subscribers who sign up before the fight.

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