BT Sport raised the stakes in it’s battle with Sky Sports in UK by paying a record 897 million pounds for UEFA Champions League rights. Keeping promise to “make televised sport more accessible to more people“, BT will show a minimum of 12 UEFA Champions League and 14 UEFA Europa League matches free to watch, whether you are a subscriber on not.
How important was this deal show also reaction on “London Stock Excange”. RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Bishop said in his statement: “We see this as incrementally negative for Sky”, and also rated their shares as “underperform”.
Sky, which has the rights to the majority of Premier League matches, has said that Champions League have been losing viewers in recent years as English main clubs failed to reach latter stages of tournaments, but analyst believe that popularity of biggest European football clubs will definitely attract new subscribers to BT Sport.
Fact that one of the biggest events in sporting calendar is no longer available on Sky Sports will definitely cause some customer push back.
BT Sport has entered in sporting world in 2012 when it won the rights to show 38 English Premier League matches a season. Its sports channels can now be seen in 5.2 million homes.
Commenting on BT plans and last deals. Jack Humprey told for btsport.com, “Now is the time to focus on all the great things our game brings, and Champions League football is right up there. We will continue to bring you masses of Premier League and FA Cup games, but from August you can also add the Champions League and Europa League to the list.”
Finally, with the big names in pundit team and the first Ultra HD (4K) channel in Europe BT is definitely on good way to become a dominant pay-TV provider in Britain.
For more details on BT Sport’s European football plans, visit btsport.com/europe.