BT’s TV service has reported its best ever quarter with its coverage of Champions League football proving to be a major draw.
The telco giant, which paid £900 million (€1.255bn) to grab the exclusive TV rights from pay-TV operator Sky and commercial pubcaster ITV, signed up 106,000 new TV customers in the three months to the end of September. It is the most that BT has signed up in a quarter since the TV service, which now has 1.3 million customers, was first launched back in 2007.
“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 the BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson. “Its contribution has been better than we expected, helping drive a 7 per cent increase in BT Consumer revenue.”
BT’s Consumer division saw revenues rise by 7 per cent to £1.12 billion, bolstered by a 17 per cent increase in broadband and TV revenue.
Sign-ups for BT Sport Europe, the channel that is home to its Champions League and UEFA Europe League coverage, fuelled a 6 per cent increase in average revenue per user to £427.
BT lured TV subscribers with a launch offer of free BT Sport Europe for those who bought a set-top box and signed up for BT TV. The company also credited the launch of the AMC channel, home to The Walking Dead hit prequel Fear The Walking Dead, for its subscriber boost.
“This is our best ever quarter reflecting the improvements we have made to our TV offering including the launch of BT Sport Europe and our new AMC TV channel,” said Patterson.
Patterson also hailed the performance of BT’s TV and broadband operation for delivering its first overall revenue increase in seven quarters, as underlying revenues rose by 2 per cent to £4.38 billion.