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Sky allows customers to pause sports subscription during pandemic

Comcast-owned Sky will give residential customers an option to pause their sports subscriptions while the coronavirus has effectively brought the sporting world to a halt.

The operator also announced that it has stopped billing its commercial clients (i.e. pubs, bars, sports clubs, and other establishments) as of March 14. It said that it will only resume billing customers when “a live sport schedule returns.”

The English Premier League, which is the crown jewel in Sky’s sports portfolio, has been suspended until April 3 with its abandonment a distinct possibility – though the teams are expected to push for the season to be finished by June 30. Sky was also scheduled to be broadcasting the F1 and IPL seasons along with the England national cricket team tour of Sri Lanka, all of which have been suspended.

In a message to customers, Sky said: “While we expect that many of the recently postponed sports events will eventually go ahead, if you wish to pause your sports subscription in the meantime, you will not be charged a fee to do so or be held to any notice period. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide high quality content across all of our 11 sports channels.”

Simon Raggett, managing director of Sky Business, added: “Supporting these businesses and doing what we can to help them in uncertain times is very important to us.”

Sky has also announced additional measures during the pandemic.

As previously announced by sister company NBCUniversal, Sky will offer a range of Universal Pictures cinematic releases to rent through the Sky Store. From March 20, users will be able to rent The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma, while Trolls World Tour will launch on April 6.

Sky has also offered Sky Go Extra available to all customers for free, allowing access to Sky TV on three screens at the same time.

Sky Talk customers will be able to make calls to UK landlines at no extra charge until the end of April, while Sky Mobile customers will receive an additional 10GB of mobile data for free.

Stephen van Rooyen, EVP and CEO, Sky UK and Europe said: “We’re working hard at Sky to make sure we continue to look after our customers. We’re also introducing some things to help make life a little easier for anyone at home trying to work, stay connected to loved ones, or keep the family entertained.”