BT challenges Sky over TV sport

BT Sport launchBT has unveiled BT Sport commercial TV packages for bars, pubs and clubs that offer top sport such as live Barclays Premier and FA Cup football and Aviva Premiership rugby, at prices that “massively” undercut Sky.

Outlets that sign up to BT Sport before July 1 will get 12 months’ subscription for the price of nine.

BT is also offering licensed premises a free box and free standard installation if they do not have the set-top box and satellite dish needed for the new service.

A survey by Sweeney Pinedo found a typical pub with BT Sport could save 78 per cent versus the cost of Sky. Just over half of independent pubs who take this offer will pay the equivalent of £1,35 per month for BT Sport.

BT research has found that nearly half of all Britain’s pubs and clubs are showing free-to-air sport, nearly one and a half times more than those who have Sky.

Licensees at the 88 per cent of independent pubs that do not have Sky say they would like to show Premier League football but Sky is “just too expensive”.

Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers for BT Sport, said: “BT Sport will be an open, fun, inclusive place and we think it will offer broad appeal, from the wide range of sports we are offering to the fantastic presenters we have signed up.

“From sports fanatics to those who simply want to see a bit more sport down their local, we believe BT Sport represents an affordable and exciting new service for pubs and clubs who don’t want to change their spots.”

For hotels that want to offer live sport in their bars, BT Sport is offering a special combined rate for the bar and guest rooms which also includes a free second card that can be used in a secondary bar, banqueting hall or the gym.

Hotels signing up before July 31 this year will be able to get the BT Sport Pack in their bar which includes, at no extra charge, all three channels for all guest rooms until May 31, 2014. For example a 65-bedroom hotel would be able to enjoy premium sport in their bar and rooms for £163 per month, which is 75 per cent cheaper than Sky.

For hotels that want to offer their guests sports only in their rooms, the BT Sport Pack, comprising all three channels, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN, will be available at a room-only charge of £3 per room per month, which is less than half the price for a single Sky Sports channel.

The BT Sport Pack will include BT’s new channels BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2, as well as ESPN, all available in both standard definition and high definition. From next season, ESPN will be available exclusively as part of the BT Sport Pack.

There will be 38 live and exclusive football matches from the Barclays Premier League – including 18 “first pick” matches – and up to 69 live rugby matches from the Aviva Premiership where BT will be the sole and exclusive broadcaster.

BT Sport will offer more live football games from top leagues than anyone else. There will be hundreds of top-flight live matches from football leagues around the world including Italy, Germany, France, Brazil and the US, and live football from Scottish Premier League plus 10 Rangers matches, FA Cup ties and the Final as well as live coverage from the UEFA Europa League.

The channels will also feature WTA women’s tennis, action from the UFC, Moto GP, Women’s Super League football, England Under-21 games, Australian A league soccer and action from Red Bull Extreme Sports.

Pictured: This month’s BT Sport launch event.

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