BT Sport has seen a very clear positive impact from its first year airing the Champions League, with viewing up 60% year-on-year to June. Remarkably, its reach is now not too far off Sky Sports, though it still has some way to go in terms of consistent viewership.
Pay-TV audiences for the 2015/16 tournament were in line with previous years – an impressive feat – but free-to-air disappointed. However, BT should not be too concerned – it has established itself as a worthy pay-TV partner.
While BT’s execution has thus beaten reasonable expectations, BT Sport still carries a heavy net financial cost for BT, with debatable benefits. Yet, whatever the benefits may be, more viewers watching more often must surely help.