BT will soon for the first time charge the majority of viewers for their own channels with the launch of the BT Sport Pack. The Pack includes BT Sport Europe, exclusive home to UEFA’s European football tournaments from this August, the rights to which BT are paying £299 million a year.
Viewing figures for the big European tournaments are not as high as one might expect given their prominence. Consumer demand for the new channel will also be highly dependent on the success of British teams, notably lacking in recent seasons.
We therefore do not expect a dramatic impact on BT Sport (or BT broadband) subscribers, and the widening losses will put pressure on BT’s margin squeeze test regulation, although they are easily absorbable at BT Group level.