BT scores with Premier League win
14th June 2012
CWU has welcomed BT's successful bid for Premier
League games which the union hopes will help bolster the
company's BT Vision broadcast service and bring greater choice
and more competitive prices to consumers.
BT will be launching a dedicated football-focused channel on its
BT Vision service to host the 38 live Premier League games it has
won rights for for the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons. This represents
a quarter of the 158 games to be shown each season, including the
opening game of the season.
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary,
said: "BT's win of live Premier League rights is a big
step forward for the BT Vision service and will provide BT
customers with direct access to some fantastic top flight games. We
have raised in the past with the regulator the concentration of
premium content and lack of competition in the pay TV sector, so it
will be interesting to see what impact this change in screening
rights has on the market.
"The investment involved is considerable, but we think this
is a golden opportunity to build BT's brand as a broadcaster in
one of the biggest viewing markets in the UK as the digital
communication industry continues to evolve. It's an encouraging
step which we hope will kick-start positive changes for consumers,
including greater choice of what to watch and more competitive
BT's rights include 18 first picks, around half of those
available, which means that for the first time consumers have a
real choice of provider when it comes to watching the best games.
BT's new football-focused channel will offer new interactive
features when supplied over BT's fibre network with pricing
details to be published in due course.
Ian Livingston, BT Chief Executive,
said: "We are pleased to have won these rights and to have
secured around half of the best games on offer each season. We look
forward to offering football fans real value and great quality
using the latest technology.
"BT is already investing £2.5bn in fibre broadband.
Securing Premier League rights fits naturally with this, as
consumers increasingly want to buy their broadband and
entertainment services from a single provider."
The rights will cost BT £246m per season. A deposit of
around £22m is payable this month followed by six instalments
of around £120m starting in August 2013 and continuing in the
months of January and August until January 2016.