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UK multi-play operator EE – part of the BT Group – has revealed an exclusive BT Sport App offer for new and existing EE pay monthly customers, providing them with six months free access to all the live sporting action available on BT Sport channels.
From July 27th, EE customers on consumer and small business pay monthly handset, tablet and SIM only plans will be able to access to all the BT Sport channels on their smartphone or tablet. Sports fans can stream the most anticipated action live, or watch highlights over EE’s 4G network as well as WiFi whenever they choose.
The BT Sport offer is the first of a series of benefits to be made available to EE customers now that EE is part of BT Group, and the first time that a BT service will be promoted through EE’s retail stores nationwide.
EE pay monthly mobile customers will have access to the full line-up of BT Sport channels: BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport Europe and ESPN on BT Sport. BT Sport coverage includes:
As well as live and on-demand catch-up, the BT Sport App provides an array of additional video clips including highlights, interviews, video diaries, fixtures, results and league tables.
All UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches are available live on the App. The video player has an interactive timeline which plots every significant moment of the game. Customers can re-watch any of the games in full or check out highlights at any time after the final whistle is blown.
EE notes that smartphone and tablet users are viewing an increasing amount of content on the move – with mobile fast becoming one of the most popular viewing platforms for sport. During the England vs Wales match at the European Championship, EE saw data usage surge 50 per cent higher than any previous network peak.
“Our customers have been telling us for a long time that they are watching more and more sport on the go, and this summer’s European Championship football tournament has driven traffic peaks that we’ve never seen before,” revealed Marc Allera, CEO, EE.
“Now, as part of BT Group, we are able to offer customers the chance to watch the very best in live domestic and European sport when out and about. With our ambition to reach 95 per cent of the geography of the UK by 2020, EE customers will be able to watch Premier League football while on Hackney Marshes, or the America’s Cup in the middle of Lake Windermere.”
The BT Sport offer will be supported by a multi-channel, multi-million pound advertising campaign, which will feature Kevin Bacon as well as BT Sport pundits and ambassadors, Rio Ferdinand, José Mourinho and Harry Redknapp, in a forthcoming TV advert.
The BT Sport App offer will be available initially to EE customers on pay monthly handset, tablet and SIM only plans, using iOS, Android and Windows devices. The app will be available for free for the first six months and then as a 30 day rolling add-on that costs £5/month. Customers can cancel the service at any time.
According to Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight, as the firm predicted, this is a huge deal for both companies but especially for BT. “First and foremost, we are seeing the first fruits of EE leveraging BT’s content asset and as a result of this, we fully expect to see a return of the BT brand on the high street with EE promoting BT Sport in store. The deal strengthens EE’s mobile offerings in light of rivals especially Vodafone who has been promoting content as part of its 4G tariffs.
Fundamentally, we cannot underline the importance of this deal as BT Sport continues to grow from strength to strength. Within months of launching, BT Sport added millions and now three years on, its potential audience will grow to more than 15 million. This is a significant achievement within a short period of time.
Furthermore, we expect BT Sport to have more sport subscribers than Sky Sports by the end of the year. This validates BT’s current strategy, and now that BT Sport has a sizable audience this will give the company confidence to invest further in key premium sports rights. There are plentiful opportunities for subscriber and revenue uplift for both companies given that 14 million households do not buy products from either BT or EE, and a further 10 million households buy a product from only one entity. The exclusion of EE TV will raise eyebrows, but we expect BT Sport to be available on the platform in due course.
Timing could not be any better in light of the new Premier League season and we are expecting a busy second half of the year with Sky’s entry to mobile, Vodafone into TV and Virgin Media’s new set-top-box. Let battle commence, but Sky’s close relationship with content and rights owners still puts it in a far stronger position over its competitors.”