BT is at risk of making a loss on its three-year deal to screen live Premier League football action, it has been claimed.
According to Enders Analysis, the firm is unlikely to generate a profit on top-flight football action by the end of its contract in 2016.
Last week, BT signed a deal to pay £738 million for 114 games between 2013-14 and 2015-16, meaning the firm will share live TV coverage with rival provider Sky.
And the firm will need to significantly increase subscriber numbers - or the amount paid per customer, per month - in order to recoup this expense.
Enders Analysis said BT has "raised the competitive stakes" by moving into premium content aggregation, but warned that the telecoms giant could make a loss on the initial contract.
"BT's entry must be seen as a long-term strategic play that is unlikely to deliver viability during the next three-year contract, but places it in a stronger position to handle the challenges of a digitally converged world," the analyst added.
According to The Observer's Business Leader column, BT will need to try and claim more games from Sky - which will now show 116 games per year - in the future.
"Unless it can take more matches from Sky in the next auction, or dramatically increase the 700,000 subscribers to its BT Vision TV service, the sports channel will probably continue to make a loss," the news provider advised.
"It's a pattern that bankrupted previous Sky challengers like Setanta, but with £6 billion a year in earnings, BT can afford to take the hit."
BT believes that offering premium TV content will help it sell more fibre broadband deals, the Observer suggested.
The news provider claimed that by bundling 80Mb broadband services with top-flight films and sport, BT should be able to attract new subscribers.