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BT’s Bushell steps down

Delia Bushell, Managing Director, BT TV and BT Sport, is leaving the company. Confirmation by the telco followed weekend newspaper reports that she had quit. Bushell joined BT in July 2014 from Sky Italia, where she was Chief Commercial Officer, having spent the previous fourteen years at the then BSkyB and Sky Italia in a variety of roles.

Bushell was responsible for developing the BT TV platform and the BT Sport channels as well as for their financial performance. She has overseen the development and acquisition of content at BT TV including premium rights, most recently retaining exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in a £1.2 billion (€1.38bn), three-year deal set to begin from the 2018-19 season. It is understood she gave her notice to quit soon after the bid’s success.

She will announce her future plans in the coming weeks and will stay with BT until the start of June to oversee a handover of her responsibilities.

BT said that Bushell had driven strong growth in revenues and TV subscribers and overseen a step-change in the scale and quality of BT Sport and BT TV’s services, including launch of BT’s European football coverage, its award-winning BT Sport app and 4k UHD services.

“This was a difficult decision as I am incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the past few years,” commented Bushell. “But with the successful renewal of our UEFA Champions and Europa League rights and the launch of our new, improved BT TV YouView service, I can now confidently hand over the baton to the excellent team around me.  I look forward to watching BT Sport and TV continue to lead the market on innovation, creativity and commercial ingenuity.”

“Delia leaves with our very best wishes for the future, having made a major contribution to the development of both BT TV and BT Sport,” said John Petter, CEO of BT Consumer. “She leaves behind a strong team that she developed during her time here. We will announce in due course our succession plan for the BT TV and BT Sport businesses.”

As well as retaining the UEFA rights, BT also snatched the live rights to England’s Ashes cricket tour of Australia, formerly held by Sky, and moved into general entertainment, with an exclusive deal with the US pay-TV channel AMC.

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