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BT has walked away from a sports rights bidding contest, and so will lose the right to show UFC mixed martial arts fighting contests and NBA basketball from the USA.

BT also recently lost the rights to the Italian football league Serie A.

"We won't bid any more than the rights are worth to us," a BT spokesperson told the BBC.

BT will continue to show UFC until 3rd December and NBA until the end of October, when the current deals expire.

The move is a blow to BT. But the firm insisted it was focussing on gaining more TV subscribers, as well as "investing in more broadcast innovations."

The spokesperson pointed to "long-term deals in place for our core content" including "great football, rugby and boxing next season."

BT spends about £1 billion a year on live sports rights, including the Premier League. Some onlookers have criticised this as being too much.

The firm recently announced plans to sack 13,000 employees and to move out of its central London headquarters in a bid to cut costs. Last week, it emerged the firm had underestimated its pension deficit by £500 million.

Source: BBC

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