back to article BT splurges £1.2bn on securing Champions League rights, Sky heads for an early bath

BT has beaten arch-rival Sky in its bid to splash £394m retaining the rights for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. That is a big increase on the current £299m a year the former state monopoly currently pays, totalling £1.2bn by securing the rights until the end of the 2020/21. BT has been accused of historically …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    In Other Words

    "Expect another increase to your BT bill this year."

    I'm looking forward to paying more money just to see the Rugby on BT Sport. I mean, I've too much money as it is and struggling for ways to spend it.

    Thanks BT!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Re: In Other Words

    "Have you tried marriage ?"

    Not yet, but from August this year I'll be giving that a go.

    After which I'll see how much money children can really burn.

  4. Andy Non

    Re: In Other Words

    I've just left BT after an email saying they are increasing their prices yet again. When I phoned to cancel, they offered to give me free line rental as the land line is only used for broadband. Even with that large reduction in the monthly bill, it would still cost £25 per month for broadband. Three's mobile broadband is £19 per month for 20 GB and suits me just fine. Bye bye BT, you've priced yourself out of the market. Interesting that they only offer free line rental when you phone to cancel your account.

  5. davemcwish

    Re: How long...

    @wolfetine "I mean, I've too much money as it is and struggling for ways to spend it."

    Once youi're married, may I suggest a small child. Nursery fees for me are 1.7x the mortgage

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: In Other Words

    I'll see how much money children can really burn.

    An awful lot is the answer to that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: In Other Words

    "An awful lot is the answer to that."

    All worth it though, which you can hardly say the same regards BT.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: How long...

    Pah, I'll take your paltry marriage and child and raise you a divorce!

  9. Goit

    Re: In Other Words

    There was once a dream that was Money. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the teenage years.

  10. Chris King Silver badge

    Re: In Other Words

    "After which I'll see how much money children can really burn"

    If you really want to burn money fast, try setting up a new social media site.

    Even better, you'll have Vult^H^H^Henture Capitalists throwing money at you in the hope of getting something back.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. King Jack Silver badge

    Ban exclusive rights

    Ban exclusive rights and everyone wins. Until that happens expect this nonsense to continue.

  13. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    If they're completely non-exclusive, then no broadcaster would pay anywhere near as much for the rights. While that would be good for consumers pockets, it wouldn't be good for the game.

    Perhaps the solution is to sell all the games to multiple bidders, but with some restrictions on the non-main broadcaster (eg: a mandated hour delay behind the action or something ). Also sell all the games in one block, rather than break them up.

    They could even sell to multiple firms, just keep making the deal worse so you could have say ITV or Youtube or somebody showing all the football 2 or 3 hours after they kicked off.

    It would mean Sky/BT would have to compete a bit more on price and you wouldn't have to buy two separate bloody expensive subscriptions just to watch all the televised premier league football.

    If they would televise each match too, I'd be delighted.

    I can't really think of anything other than a delay that would make the second tier broadcasters less appetising though. Maybe a mandated overlay of a certain size on the secondary broadcaster that says "you can watch this game live only on Sky/BT/whoever wins"?

    Sell the main set of rights first, then run an auction for each tier until there are no bidders left, or until nobody is willing to pay 1/(tier) (eg: 4th tier would be 1/4 ) of the primry broadcaster's fee.

  14. AndrueC Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    While that would be good for consumers pockets, it wouldn't be good for the game.

    Are you sure? To be honest I have no interest in the sport whatsoever but in my experience pouring money into a sport rarely improves it. Maybe it would appeal to more people if the participants were doing it purely for the love of the game rather than love of the money.

    Just a thought.

  15. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    Cutting the money sport gets from TV rights could help sports immensly in the long term.

    Look at the Footballists. A money hungry upper tier with very lttle going to the lower tier.

    Grass roots sports (the next generation) do not benefit.

    Look at all the top end football companies, all full of Foreign staff, need a new ball kicker, buy one from abroad.

    Less money they will have to try training their own like they used to. That will help grass roots.

    Cricket is suffering already from not being on TV some kids do not know anything about the sport and some bloke mentioned on the news a few times a year is meaningless to them.

    F1 will go the same way eventually.

    Money ruins sport in the long run

  16. John H Woods Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    "it wouldn't be good for the game"

    Who cares? The FA are trying to raise money through charities to pay for all-weather pitches for kids to play on ... why? The vast prices for tickets and subscriptions are just more 'trickle-up' economics where ordinary people find themselves having to pay for some of the most extravagant lifestyles on the planet.

  17. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    It's a reasonably common view that "money has ruined the game", but football is so much better now than it used to be.

    Even if it's just a case of getting the worlds best players to consider playing in our league, that requires money ( money English football didn't really have until the last 15 years ).

    Basically the leagues with the money tends to get the best players, which leads to better football on show.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    Better game?

    Is it?

    I don't think so.

    Local teams used to be able to do well, now they are lucky if they even own a ground.

    How can your local team being unable to achieve anything when a small number of companies get all the money and splurge it around often abroad buying up the best footballists there are. They should be nurturing their local talent.

    Your local city/town being stuffed is not good football.

    BTW my local team has gone from FA Cup giant killers to homeless.

    Hopefully Rugby does not go down this route. It would ruin the small teams.

  19. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    Near me the opposite has happened. The former top flight club has had the money sucked out of it by owners and they've been repeatedly relegated, a local recently non-league team has overtaken them in the league structure and another local non-league club has (seemingly achievable) ambitions to be in the football league within 3 years.

    I play amateur rugby, the current situation hasn't stopped my old club going to the wall. The RFU helps out bigger amateur clubs by building them fancy clubhouses ( or in one case near me, a stonkingly expensive artificial pitch ), but bugger all for the tiny clubs.

  20. Mage Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    The money is destroying football.

  21. andy67

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    Who cares whether it is "good for the game"? Football sucks and it makes me really angry that I have to pay money to pathetic overpaid cheating footballers when I actually want to watch other sports with hard working respectful participants.

  22. MJI Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    I am pleased for your non league teams, welll done to them.

    Pity about the Rugby club though, but both the team I support (grew up there) and live near are Premiership teams. So I can if I want legitimately support a Premiership team.

  23. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Ban exclusive rights

    I'd rather not pay for Rugby League or Italian football, but they come with my subscription.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if Sky Sports subscribers subsidised watches of sports other than football, given how popular it is. I wouldn't pay for Sky Sports if it didn't show football. I bet there are millions of Sky Sports ( or even Sky ) subscribers who only pay for it because of the football - anything extra is just a bonus.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The biz denies those claims, pointing to its plans to connect 10 million customers to its ultrafast hybrid fibre and copper G.Fast technology, which will provide speeds of more than 100Mbps by 2020. A further 2 million homes will receive FTTP by that date."

    Pointless Just remember folks it's "up to", from zero up, with emphasis on the zero if you don't live anywhere near. That "10m connected" actually means (if it is to be useful) connected within 250m by decent unbroken copper cable to the nearest cabinet, in terms of ultrafast speeds. No nearby cabinet = no ultrafast speeds.

    So BT answer this. How many of those connected 10m are within 250m of a node?

    This is more Bamboozled, obfuscated, more of the same "up to" copper carcass based technology.

    This comment from the UK's Digital strategy:

    "But for most people, it is the quality of connection that matters, not the means of delivery."

    Shows utter contempt for UK Taxpayers, and while it reads as a "neutral statement", is actually very biased statement/admission in favour, of paying BT, further taxpayer funds in terms of continuing to patch up BT's copper carcass network.

    To say, you don't care about the underlying technology, is saying you don't care whether you are getting value for money for the taxpayer, or whether you care that you end up paying multiple times, to achieve tiered artifically restricted, strung-out bumps in speed, which were achieveable without additional taxpayer funds, if the right (pure Fibre FTTP) technology was chosen in the first place.

    My biggest gripe with Politicians that write this clap trap, is they naively assume BT will always deliver for the taxpayer the best technical solution irrespective of what BT already has in its moldy cupboard to give you.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

    No, surely not. I expected the CEO to take a pay cut to cover it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

    So call costs will go up (as they've said line rental will not) for the remaining 48M customers who dont watch BT sport.

    And people wonder why I elect to give Virgin my £36 a month for just 100Mb broadband

  28. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

    Re: "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

    I've been seriously looking at moving from BT phone and A.N.Other ADSL for my home/soho service and moving to Virgin. I was hesitant to do so as I want/need a static IP which VM do not offer for residential - however they have now said if I take out business broadband I can have one. I still have reservations having read their support forums for their supplied router/modem (which I don't have much choice in, unlike an ADSL one) as it appears somewhat disfunctional.

    However, if BT insist on taking my money to give it to some overpaid half-wits whose only skill in life is to kick a ball round a field, then the VM offer starts to look more attractive by the day.

    Nice own goal BT.

  29. Paul Crawford Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Re: "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

    " as I want/need a static IP which VM do not offer for residential "

    You might want to check out non-UK VPN suppliers who could offer that (in addition to not having your every activity logged).

  30. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Re: "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers"

    I want/need a static IP which

    I had the same problem - I.m now with BT Business for broadband at home - much better help desk!

  31. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Oh good so my broadband price is going up

    to support the streaming of football that my broadband is too slow to watch even if I did want to watch it which I dont.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And for BT punters who don't give a shit about soccer?

    Where's the badly needed investment in non-sport content? Buzby might be landing a few good punches on Murdoch over soccer, but if you're not into any of that carry-on, their TV offer is pretty lacklustre in comparison.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And for BT punters who don't give a shit about soccer?

    Sport is a sure way to attract regular subscribers that don't 'churn'.

    While it's true football doesn't have the same draw it used to, it's ensures there's regular money on the balance sheet to keep investors happy.

    I have to subscribe to Herr Murdoch and BT to watch football, not because I want to give them my money, but because (legally) I have no other choice.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: And for BT punters who don't give a shit about soccer?

    "I have to subscribe to Herr Murdoch and BT to watch football, not because I want to give them my money, but because (legally) I have no other choice."

    yes, you do, a fairly obvious choice

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OTT, it's the future lads.

    BT Sport is a marketing loss-leader, they only make the money-up when you order HD.

    IMHO paying for HD is a bit like being forced to pay for hotel wifi.

    It's all wrong, but what can you do? And don't say Kodi, those pirate streams are unwatchable.

  36. defiler Silver badge

    Re: OTT, it's the future lads.

    Is it just me who detests seeing "Kodi" and "pirate" glued together every time like this? Kodi is a very capable media player in its own right, which just happens to have some streaming plugins which can be used to violate copyright.

    Sort of like assuming Windows, Linux and MacOS are all for pirates because you can get a BitTorrent client...

  37. Andy 97

    Re: OTT, it's the future lads.

    Wasn't meaning to disparage the Kodi platform.

    I was an XBMC user for years and found it very useful.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OTT, it's the future lads.

    I've never found a good football stream on Kodi, but is currently pretty good. Access it on the phone, airplay it to the TV. Better quality than the "free" BT Sport SD channels.

  39. LDS Silver badge

    Football rights? It's just like online ads.

    The only ones to earn a lot of money are those selling them - everybody else is a loser. And frankly, those are monopolies that should be broken also.

  40. Charles Smith

    The only problem with BT is their management actually believe their own marketing and propaganda. For example: Superfast Broadband.

  41. ColonelClaw

    Extremely annoying for me, I only pay for BT Sport to watch MotoGP. If they put their prices up again I may be forced to look 'elsewhere' for my feed.

    I'll just leave these two links here, any connection between the two is completely coincidental...

  42. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    "But he added that the latest move could result in costs being transferred to consumers. "

    Can someone explain how BT price their service? I'm a Virgin Media customer, so should I want a sport package I'd pay extra for that. I think Sky works the same, people buy additional packages,... so BT, do they give you sports even if like me, you have no interest, then hike your bill?

  43. ColonelClaw

    AFAIK Both Sky and BT spread their price increases across all subscribers regardless of what package they are on. I don't know the ratio of spread - I would expect/hope sports subscribers to pay the larger share - but I believe it's spread everywhere to soften the blow.

    As the sports channels are optional, but the base package of channels isn't, this prevents the sports channels from becoming off-puttingly priced, as they are by far the most expensive to produce.

  44. creepy gecko

    BT have wasted their money...

    I've never had BT Sports, but was a long term subscriber to Sky Sports. I say "was" as I cancelled my Sky sports channels when BT Sports started and snaffled the Premier League and Champions League coverage rights.

    I enjoyed watching football but wasn't going to subscribe to BT & Sky just to be able to watch the (approximately) same number of games as I'd had previously. I also couldn't see the sense in continuing with Sky Sports at the same price with reduced football coverage. (Yes, I know there are other sports, but it was the football that I mainly followed).

    I now rarely watch live footie on TV, and honestly can't say I miss it.

    Icon for Sky Sports as I showed them the way out.

  45. Haku Silver badge

    So my broadband cost is going up to pay for something you'd have to pay me to watch.

    Makes perfect sense.

  46. Just Enough

    Thanks for nothing

    "Fans will be able to enjoy two live matches a night for the first time."

    No we won't. Because we are still waiting on you upgrading the broadband provision in our area.

    And it's worth pointing out that the reason we won't be getting these matches on our televisions is not because our broadband is too laggy, but because BT simply will not supply it on the old broadband technology we have. So just another case of BT announcing something with a big fanfare, and then informing people that they're not among the chosen allowed to get it.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Champions League?

    As an Arsenal fan, my level of interest in that particular competition is currently approaching zero, and is liable to be in the negative next season.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freudian Slip! The real relationship between BT and Ofcom.

    If you haven't seen this video yet it's worth a watch:

    Mike Rake, Chairman of BT who on live TV with Bob Peston accidentally revealed the real relationship between BT and Ofcom:

    (Transcript) Mike Rake (BT Chairman): What ofcom...{interupted by Peston}, What we are negotiating WITH ONCON is not actually a structural separation of OFCOM. It's more of what is called Enhanced function separation. We (BT) are committed to creating an independent board THAT WILL RUN OFCOM with an independent Chairman,Independent Directors.

    Peston: Openreach not Ofcom. {You mean Openreach}

    Mike Rake: Oh, Yes (chuckle). that's a Freudian Slip! (Haha) (He can't stop chuckling to himself) Openreach (he continues to chuckle) that will run the networks, invest in the networks, which will have more freedom on Capital and operating expenditure, more hiring for commercial rollout.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Freudian Slip! The real relationship between BT and Ofcom.

    THE ONLY way to stop BT screwing the line renters of that business they have forgotten about "telephony" is a TOTAL and COMPLETE separation of "BT" and "OPENREACH"

    OFCOM need to grow a set and worry more about consumers and the ongoing lack of investment in the network and future shape and technology of the network. rather than the one off issue of a pension black hole of BT's own making. force a separation and as part of the divorce MAKE BT Honour their worker pensions.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ronaldo owns a Veyron and was recently seen testing a chiron. He earns enough while taking a dump to buy a jag.


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018