I’ve been a Sky Sports subscriber since before they invented football in 1992.
Well, my parents were. Or, my accurately, my dad was. We had an enormous satellite dish perched on our garage, and my mum used to lay in bed worrying it was going to blow away whenever it was a windy evening.
The only football of any note we could get was the Zenith Data Systems Trophy. Which proved worthwhile when Boro got to the final but other than that, not so much. I think there was also a channel called SuperSport or something too. Think Setanta, without the Hurling.
Since then I’ve taken Sky Sports subscriptions with me to University, where we had a separate TV set up in the lounge whose only purpose was to leave Sky Sports News on, all day, every day (leaving the main TV for Pro Evo, obviously). It was at times almost like Georgie Thompson and Sam Matterface were extra housemates.
Then I got my own house and had Sky installed before unpacking. And then I went for the major packages, the HD, the SkyGo, the movies etc.
And then time passed and things changed. I wasn’t remotely tempted by SkyQ. I don’t have time to watch the stuff I have recorded now, never mind have the capacity to record 15 channels while watching a 16th, or whatever it is.
And more often than not, when I’m on my regular work trips I find myself watching stored programmes on iPlayer, or stored films on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
And the last time I watched a non-Boro football match on TV, from kick off to full time, was a long time ago. Every time I flick on Sky Sports on a weekend and it’s Southampton v West Brom, take it or leave it, I shrug, sigh and turn it off.
So, today, I’ll be ringing Sky and cancelling. I’m not a cord-cutter in the traditional sense. And I can ‘afford’ it pretty much. It’s just that it’s a big expense on my bank statements, one that, unlike Netflix, or Spotify or whatever, jumps out every month and says ‘Really? REALLY?’
I realised that I’ve been paying this money in order to watch the Ryder Cup once every two years. And Sky themselves have given me a pay as you go option through NowTV. And if there is a Boro game I really want to watch, I’ll buy a day pass on that. I doubt there will be any other football that convinces me to do that – I’ve become less and less interested in the games between the big teams as the years have gone on. Boro matches, FiveLive and Match of the Day are enough these days, along with goals that I’ll catch up with on social media.
My kids won’t notice when it goes. They go to Netflix first, YouTube second, Sky a distant third. I can’t imagine a situation where they grow up to be slightly attracted by a big, expensive bundled TV package on an 18 month contract.
So, it’s cheerio.
The bar has now changed for value in sport and entertainment in my household, and Sky now doesn’t get anywhere close to clearing it.