Britain’s BT will launch its much heralded sports TV service on Thursday in the biggest challenge to the dominance of BSkyB since Rupert Murdoch launched the pay-TV group over 20 years ago.
“BT are not in this to get a new stream of revenues, what they’re in this for is to persuade their customers not to churn (switch) to Sky on broadband,” Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said.
The former telecoms monopoly, which has committed around 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) to the project, is stepping into an arena where others have failed, invariably outmanoeuvred by BSkyB in the battle for programming and subscribers.
But the deep-pocketed, 168-year-old BT has learnt from the master. While the battle over sports rights grabs the headlines, the underlying struggle is for supremacy in the triple play market – the bundling of television, telephone and broadband.
Photo Credit: Paul Downey