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Is Sky the next Nokia?

Over the last few weeks, we have seen many services go to free. One of the most used, indeed one that put pressure on the bandwidth of the internet itself has been Netflix - since inception the price has actually gone north. In % terms i now pay 60% more than its intro price, and I rarely notice. The Walt Disney Company introduce Disney + and I just bought it - great intro price, less then my Amazon prime sub.

But it got me thinking, Netflix obviously have a value prop greater than €14.99 per month, to my knowledge they have not budged on price at a point in time of greatest utilisation.

Prime is partnering with so many other services, for example eir Ireland broadband and prime video is free. Audible, Inc. is now free too.

The Nokia of today is for me Sky - without sports and the divergence of movies into streaming leaves them really exposed and suddenly they feel dated. Twitch has been doing in game #ecommerce via I Like That Technologies, Inc.and it strikes me that there will be a marked shift in how we consume sport now.

Consider that only 4 weeks ago, Tottenham Hotspur, with @Jose Mourinho as boss, are comfortable and spending a significant amount of money on a sensory stimulating, life changing, interactive stadium to last week "forloughing 550 staff" and asking players to take a paycut - the sums don't add up.

It takes me back to when I studied corporate finance for my finals and wrote a thesis on Leeds United. Back then, they were riding high and getting into football's most elite competitions, hiring young talent with a new manager and chairman and decided to go for broke (Nostalgia moment - anyone remember that board game). They lost one match, which led to a financial capitulation which is still being compounded today. They effectively hire-purchased their players and went to market to raise capital and bet against the mortgage of bums on seats for continued success. Seeing the writing on the wall, the financiers called in their debt and fire saled some world class players. Namely Rio Ferdinand, as one, to the benefit of Manchester United.

I digress... But sports is now in full transition and scrambling for capital - not money, but CAPITAL - 2 fundamentally different concepts.

Sky have seen presenters and players join online media houses in large numbers over the last 2 years and to me are a household name at risk - to have entertainment, movies and sports and the ability to pause or record (really?) costs €100 euro - it does not add up.

Not recognising the customer is always a risk we don't think about, but on this beautifully confined #COVID19 Sunday morning, I could see myself not reaching for the Sky, because right now the Sky is the limit.


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