“For us, acquiring content is sometimes less about that short-term business plan. Three years for Champions League rights is not enough to get a return on the amount that BT is paying for it. This is a long-term strategy for BT. So it’s much more about satisfying the market at that time, getting the price right to win the rights ” head of BT Sport Simon Green told the Digital TV World Summit. He added “We’re not at that point where this business case is absolutely certain.”
But, he said BT Sport has already gained more momentum than previous UK rivals to Sky Sports, though still has “a long way to go.” Green accepts BT is still “building credibility” in the sports market, but said that it had made big strides in the four months since its sports channels went live.
Speaking in London, Green said: “Last Sunday the Spurs vs. Manchester United game peaked at over 1.1 million viewers. That shows that so far in those 17 short weeks, we’ve already got a momentum which is a long way ahead of where Setanta was or where ESPN was.”
BT Sport holds the rights the several sports including rugby union, NBA, UFC fighting and, from 2015/16, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football. Green said: “We’re pleased with this content. However, we do understand that there is a long way to go.”