BT fiscal results boosted in part by Champions League football coverage
BT has added a record number of new TV customers, thanks partially to its Champions League football coverage. The company said 106,000 customers signed up for BT TV in the three months to the end of September, helping to boost pre-tax profits by 14% from a year earlier to £642m.
BT Sport Europe – its home to UEFA Champions League football – was one of a number of improvements to BT’s TV offering, alongside the recent introduction of the AMC TV channel (also exclusive to BT) plus the rollout of the BT TV Ultra HD package. The company said its mobile services division also performed well.
“We’ve seen good demand for BT Sport Europe and this has helped us add a record number of BT TV customers in the quarter,” said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson. “Its contribution has been better than we expected, helping drive a 7% increase in BT Consumer revenue. Mobile is another growth area and I am pleased our consumer customer base now stands at more than 200,000.” Overall revenue for the group was flat at £4.38bn.
BT secured exclusive UK live TV rights to all Champions League football matches as part of a £897 million three-year deal that runs from the present 2015/2016 season. BT Sport Europe launched as part of the BT Sport pack on August 1 this year.
On Wednesday, BT’s takeover of mobile phone operator EE was given provisional clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Patterson said he was “pleased” with the CMA’s decision. If the EE deal goes through, BT will acquire another 24.5 million mobile customers. The group only re-entered the mobile phone market earlier this year.