Sky Sports rapped for sponsoring Ashes replays

Ofcom has rapped Sky Sports for giving “undue prominence” to Specsavers’ sponsorship of the Hawk-Eye technology used in its Ashes coverage.

Ashes coverage
Sky Sport’s Ashes coverage

The broadcast regulator dismissed Sky’s argument that the technology is ‘programme-related’ material, and argued that such additions should not be sponsored.

Hawk-Eye is used in sports as a technical system to capture debatable information. In the Ashes coverage, this included the spread of shots around the wicket, the speed of the bowling, the spread of the bowling to the batsmen, and whether a ‘leg before wicket’ decision is likely to be correct.

Sky had suggested that Hawk-Eye was open to commercial branding, in the same way that scoreboards and timing devices often are. Due to Specsavers sponsoring the technology, the high street optician’s logo was briefly displayed whenever Hawk-Eye was used.

However, Ofcom deemed that the technology is used to “enhance the viewing experience”, and is therefore part of the programme itself, meaning that it should not be sponsored, but paid for using part of the production budget.

Ofcom added that it refused to accept Sky’s argument in case other broadcasters tried to sponsor sports production techniques in a similar way.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here