Michelle Clancy | 19-08-2013
As the 2013-2014 Premier League season kicks off with a 1-0 win by Liverpool over Stoke, BT Sport has announced that more than 10,000 pubs, clubs, betting shops, hotels and other commercial premises have signed up to its TV packages.
BT Sport is offering live Barclays Premier League, FA Cup football and Aviva Premiership rugby, at prices that the company says "massively undercut Sky," with a typical independent pub saving up to 76% compared with the satellite giant.
BT Sport recently announced its first commercial contract in the gaming sector with the UK's largest independent bookmaker, Betfred. All three BT Sport channels will be available in all of Betfred's 1,370 bookmakers across the UK for the next three years.
"Pre-season has gone incredibly well for the BT Sport team," said Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers, BT Sport. "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. We are particularly delighted that this includes brand new commercial customers for premium sports who have historically been unable to afford Sky's high prices."
He added: "Our success in the commercial TV sports market adds to our achievements in the consumer area, where more than a million households are ready to enjoy BT Sport and where we have agreed a deal with Virgin Media to make BT Sport available to its 3.8 million TV customers."
BT research has shown that nearly half of Britain's 75,000 pubs and clubs are showing free-to-air sport only that is almost one-and-a-half times more than those who have Sky. 88% of independent pubs who do not have Sky say they would like to show Premier League football, but Sky is "just too expensive," the company said.
BT Sport is available to all commercial premises including offices, golf clubs, sporting clubs, bookmakers and Corca-registered clubs, with prices starting from 75 per month.
The BT Sport Pack includes BT's brand-new channels BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2, as well as ESPN, all available in both standard definition and high definition. There will be 38 live and exclusive football matches from the Barclays Premier League including 18 "first pick" matches and up to 69 live rugby matches from the Aviva Premiership where BT will be the sole and exclusive broadcaster.
BT Sport is also showing live football from Scottish Premier League plus ten Rangers matches, FA Cup ties and the Final and live coverage from the UEFA Europa League will also be shown.
The channels will also feature WTA women's tennis, action from the UFC, Moto GP, Women's Super League football, England Under-21 games, Australian 'A' league soccer and action from Red Bull Extreme Sports.
BT Sport is delivered via satellite technology, so that any business with Sky equipment just has to call BT to add BT Sport to their line-up.