BT announces it has more than a million households ready to watch the Barclays Premier League on BT Sport with “the million customers for BT Sport… added in just three months”.
BT Sport is free with BT broadband and customers can watch the channels online or via their mobile devices using the BT Sport app. They can also enjoy the channels on their TVs if they renew their broadband contracts or are new to BT broadband.
BT broadband customers who wish to watch the channels on their TV require a set top box. This will be a Sky box if they wish to receive the channels for free over satellite.
Non-BT broadband customers can also enjoy the BT Sport channels on their TVs, via the digital satellite platform from just £12 (€14) a month.
The million total includes satellite TV customers – both free and paying – as well as customers who are watching via BT TV. There is a mix of existing BT broadband customers – who have re-contracted their broadband for at least twelve months – and new broadband customers who have been attracted by BT Sport.
John Petter, BT Consumer managing director said: “We are thrilled with the initial interest shown in BT Sport and the viewing figures to date. To have a million households onboard before the Barclays Premier League has even begun is terrific. We said we would return sport to grass roots fans and they are cheering in large numbers.”
“We always said that BT Sport would help us retain and attract broadband customers and that is proving to be the case. We are rewarding our customers for their loyalty and the strategy is working.”
While BT claim to be happy with sign-ups, all be they mostly ‘free’, the scale of their task in taking on Sky is illustrated by the audience for Claire Balding’s first live show. Balding is the biggest presenting name BT has signed but an average of just 1,200 viewers tuned in. When she was signed, Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said that the weekly sports magazine programme, The Clare Balding Show, would be a “flagship programme” for the pay-TV channel.
Balding fronted the first live studio show on Thursday night, featuring special guests including Olympic rower Katherine Grainger, QPR manager Harry Redknapp and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand. The show attracted an average of just 1,200 viewers, and a 15-minute peak audience of 4,000, for BT Sport 1.
The peak audience rises to 8,000 if the measure is made on a 5-minute interval, according to unofficial overnight audience figures.