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BT Sport had signed up more than 10,000 pubs, clubs, betting shops, hotels and other commercial premises by the time the Barclays Premier League season got under way on Saturday August 17th.

The broadcaster says its new offering - which includes live top-flight football and rugby union - enables the typical independent pub to save 76 per cent compared to Sky Sports.

Bruce Cuthbert, Director of Commercial Customers at BT Sport, claimed pre-season went "incredibly well" for the new broadcaster, which attracted thousands of commercial customers "before a ball was kicked".

He described BT Sport as "an affordable and exciting new service", noting that interest in the platform has been "phenomenal" so far.

"This underlines the value, quality and broad appeal that we offer," Mr Cuthbert stated.

"We are particularly delighted that this includes brand new commercial customers for premium sports who have historically been unable to afford Sky’s high prices.”

BT claims that, at present, nearly half of the UK's 75,000 pubs and clubs only show free-to-air sport - almost one and a half times more than those who have Sky Sports.

Yet research conducted by the firm indicates that 80 per cent of independent pubs which do not have Sky Sports would like to show Premier League football.

BT Sport claims to offer a more affordable alternative to the incumbent broadcaster, with commercial contracts available from as little as £75 per month.

Speaking to the Guardian, Charlie May, Landlord at the 120-person-capacity Tiger Bar in Derby, said he had been quoted £1,600 per month to take Sky Sports.

But he has since subscribed to BT Sport for £93 per week - the equivalent of £403 per month.

Sky Sports offers more live Barclays Premier League matches than BT Sport - 116 per season compared to the 38 available on its new rival.

And Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, claimed recently that the firm's customers have "never enjoyed such a strong choice of live football coverage".

But UK consumers and businesses now have options when it comes to subscription sport, with both BT and Sky competing for their loyalty.

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