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Forget free broadband, start the free football battle
Tuesday 07 May 2013 11:30:23 by Andrew Ferguson

With the ever increasing price of going to see a football match, particularly for teams in the Premier League, demand for ways to watch it over broadcast TV, satellite TV or an Internet connection have proven popular and it was into this fray that BT Retail entered when it made to give it the rights to broadband live Premier League football in the UK.

Now ahead of the latest financial statement from the BT Group, there is the suggestion that BT Retail Infinity subscribers may get free access to the new BT Sports channel. The notional price for the BT Sport channel is expected to be £10 per month.

Sports packages are currently limited to the older BT Vision boxes, but with the forthcoming launch of the TV Connect service on the wholesale network, we may see this expanding to the newer YouView set-top boxes. As the launch of the BT Sport channel approaches, we should learn more about any wholesale deals that may allow people on other broadband providers or TV services to subscribe too.

BT Retail paid some £738 million for the rights to 38 matches per year for three years, but if it is able expand its retail customer base for broadband and telephone services in the face of the competition from Sky then it may be seen as money well spent, even if there is not much profit. Sky apparently spent £2.38 billion for the right to 154 Premier League games, which was a rise of 40% more than previously.

An interesting thought to end on, would be what the effect on the regulatory environment would be if BSkyB was to overtake BT Retail as the largest retail broadband provider in the United Kingdom.


Posted by Going_Digital over 3 years ago
I'm not the slightest bit interested in football but adding unique features to a broadband package might be better than joining the race to the bottom on price.
Posted by jroadley over 3 years ago
I think Netflix and Lovefilm will be added to broadband packages soon (Maybe not from SKY!)
Can only see the price of broadband/tv packages dropping as consumers get more savvy!
Posted by Kr1s69 over 3 years ago
If sky did some sort of discount on sky sports to match this it would be great :)
Posted by Boblo over 3 years ago
I'm in the same group as the 52m who aren't interested in football, so this is of absolutely no interest to me. Now, if they take F1 off Sky, as I refuse to pay £400 plus per year to watch 19 races (the other programming and over-advertising is also of no interest), then they may just make me sit up and take notice. Just because the media would have us believe that football is the new religion (witness the news about Ferguson taking precedence over kidnapped girls, murders and the like), doesn't mean that the country is interested in nothing else.

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