Sky orders strict protocol to significantly reduce gambling advertising

The leadership of Sky UK has confirmed that it will introduce new rules that will significantly reduce its output of betting/gambling related adverts across its digital TV network.

Addressing head-on public and political concerns related to the over-saturation of gambling-related content on UK TV, Sky leadership details that in 2019 it will enforce drastic reduction measures across its programming.

Sky reveals that from the start of the Premier League season 2019/2020, it will allow ‘only one betting/gambling advert to be broadcast per commercial break‘.

The policy will be introduced across its entire TV network, covering sports, entertainment, lifestyle, news and HD channels, applying to – sportsbook, poker and online casino advertising content.

Further supporting its upcoming policy, Sky leadership details that it is developing new capabilities through its AdSmart technology, which will enable audiences to block gambling-content be viewed on Sky and Virgin Media digital platforms.

At present, Sky targets June 2020 as the target period in which its aims to launch AdSmart viewer blocking capabilities.

Stephen van Rooyen – Sky UK

Updating stakeholders, Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive of Sky UK & Ireland stated that the broadcaster was committed to supporting the UK’s safer gambling infrastructure through its upcoming policies.

“Our customers are worried about gambling ads on TV, and we understand their concerns. That’s why we’ve committed to limiting the number of gambling ads on Sky and better protecting those vulnerable to problem gambling.”

A key corporate directive for 2019, Sky leadership details that it will implement its gambling reduction measures, regardless of whether the UK government moves to implement a much-debated 9pm watershed on gambling advertising.

Reacting to Sky’s upcoming policy, Jeremy Wright Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), described the broadcaster’s action plan ‘as a welcome move to protect vulnerable people from the impact of problem-gambling harms’.

As head of DCMS department, Wright called for further UK broadcasters to follow Sky’s protocol on gambling related content.

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