BT Sport propels BT broadband ahead of Sky

The rise of BT Sport helped parent company BT mark a record second quarter, boosting its share of broadband additions in the period to 93 per cent.

BT Sport

BT says BT Sport has signed up 2 million subscribers and is now available to 4 million homes, thanks to its wholesale contract with Virgin Media.

The company says that it is also “delivering for the business”.

BT marked its lowest line rental churn rate in more than five years and a 2 per cent year on year revenue growth in its consumer business to £1.84bn in the three months to 30 September. Quarter on quarter, consumer revenue rose 4 per cent – its best quarterly performance for 10 years.

In terms of customer numbers, BT’s TV service added 70,000 subscribers in the quarter, while 156,000 new customers signed up for broadband – making BT the dominant player in acquiring new subscribers in the period. BT says this means it has taken a 93 per cent share of new broadband additions in the period, although this figure only accounts for new customers in the broadband market, not those lost by other providers.

BT’s investment in acquiring the rights to show live Premier League football matches and other high profile sports, tapping up celebrity presenters such as Clare Balding and the huge marketing push associated with launching the channel did mean the company reported a 13 per cent year on year drop in profit to £948m.

Gavin Patterson, BT’s recently appointed group chief executive officer, says BT Sport has made a “confident start”.

In the three months to 30 September rival Sky splashed out an additional £55m in marketing its broadband and pay TV services as it looked to mitigate the impact of BT Sport. The move appeared to show early signs of paying off as the company added 111,000 new broadband customers and 37,000 new TV subscribers in its first quarter. 

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