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BT's move into the subscription sports arena is less about taking on Sky Sports, and more protecting its home broadband business, it has been claimed.

Ian Whittaker, an Analyst at Liberum, told Reuters that the launch of BT Sport - which has stepped into an arena dominated by Sky for the last 20 years - "is all about broadband".

"BT is not in this to get a new stream of revenues," he suggested.

"What they're in this for is to persuade their customers not to churn (switch) to Sky on broadband."

Both firms offer broadband bundles including home phone and television services, and BT will now be able to offer its own branded sports package alongside internet and landline services.

Mr Whittaker suggested this will help BT rival Sky for triple-play customers - who account for a growing share of the consumer market.

"BT has laid down a marker," he told the news provider.

"It's not going anywhere anytime soon and it's got plenty of cash. We'll have to wait and see but Sky is used to dealing with big threats."

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