The next round of auctions for the TV rights to live Premier League football opens next week, but BT’s CEO Gavin Paterson has downplayed their importance, saying the company has a ‘Plan B’ if the cost rises beyond what they’re willing/able to able.
Asked if BT’s business model could work if it was shut out of the auction, Patterson, speaking to The Guardian, said: “Yes, absolutely. I don’t want in any way to diminish the importance of the Premier League of course, and the Premier League’s importance to us. But it is one of a broad set of rights. We will be competitive but ultimately won’t go beyond the price it is worth to us.”
“We continue to see Premier League content as an important part of BT Sport, but it is only one part,” he continued. “It is one we like and it has performed well for us. We know what it is worth to us and we model that and we bid up to, and no further, than the value of it. We always have a ‘Plan B’ if we don’t get what we want.”
Online rivals such as Facebook and Amazon are expected to join BT and Sky Sports in bidding for the rights next week, further inflating the market.