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UPDATE BT Sport Grabs More Critical Football TV Content from Sky and ITV

Sunday, Nov 10th, 2013 (6:25 am) - Score 1,974

BT’s recently launched BTSport TV service, which airs premium sport matches for free to their own broadband subscribers and at cost to others, has scored another major coup against Sky (Sky Broadband) and ITV after it gobbled up the exclusive broadcast rights to all 350 matches from the 2015 – 2018 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League (football).

The deal, which effectively devalues the high price (around £22 extra per month) that some people currently pay to view similar content over Sky’s rival TV platform, means that BT has had to lash out yet another £299 million a season for the additional broadcasting rights (i.e. the full price paid will end up being €1,075,981,484.31 Euros for the rights over three seasons).

Interestingly BT has also promised that each participating British team will feature for free at least once each season.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, said:

I am thrilled that BT Sport will be the only place where fans can enjoy all the live action from the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Both tournaments are world class and firm favourites with many. The live rights will give a major boost to BT Sport and give people yet another reason to take our terrific service.

BT Sport has got off to a strong start with customers enjoying what we have to offer. We have attracted millions of customers by giving sport back to the fans, and we can assure people who want to catch all the action, that European football will be far more accessible and affordable with BT.”

BT sees the new content as taking a significant bite out of Sky’s dominance in the TV sector and expects it to “drive additional growth in BT Consumer revenue and profits over the medium-term“. Sky will now need to reach a further agreement with BT to carry the content or customers might begin to question the price they’re paying given the significantly reduced coverage.

Meanwhile others would no doubt rather BT had spent all of that money on improving the country’s national broadband infrastructure instead.

UPDATE 11th November 2013

According to BT, customers will probably have to pay extra to view most of the Champions League games because they will not come as part of the “free” BT Sport TV service for existing broadband subscribers.

The operator will most likely be looking to upsell the content alongside special superfast broadband BTInfinity (FTTC) bundles, not to mention targeting all of the usual pubs and clubs that have traditionally been served by Sky.

Never the less the price they’ve paid still makes it somewhat of a gamble as to whether or not BT will actually be able to get their money back.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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