August 19, 2013 10.52 Europe/London By Julian Clover

BT Sport DiscussionBT Sport signed 10,000 pubs and clubs before the kick-Off of the Premier League season on Saturday lunchtime.
The telco has been banking on the retail trade to boost numbers and promotion of its three-channel sports package – arguing that it is close to 76% cheaper than the Sky equivalent – even if on a per Premier League game basis the cost is not that different.
Bruce Cuthbert, director of Commercial Customers, BT Sport, said: “Pre-season has gone incredibly well for the BT Sport team. Signing up more than 10,000 commercial customers before a ball is kicked in the Premier League is a fantastic achievement. BT Sport is an affordable and exciting new service for pubs, clubs and their customers. Interest has been phenomenal and underlines the value, quality and broad appeal that we offer.”
On Friday it was announced that BT Sport would be made available to Virgin Media customers, brining in a potential 3.8 million further homes.
BT’s coverage of Liverpool v Stoke City pulled in an audience of 764,000, compared to the 3.1 million that watched Sky’s first match.
However, the figures compare favorably to the 713,000 who watched last season’s opener between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur on ESPN.
The coverage was marred by technical issues with BT Sport’s smartphone app, though BT said the problems were limited.