2015 crunch time BT Sport

December 19, 2013 08.37 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Enders Analysis says the acquisition of European Champions League and Europa League rights have set the scene for the fiercest of conflicts when the domestic live Premier League rights fall due for renewal by auction in 2015.

However, the analyst warns that BT has done little in terms of audience to rise above previous holders of Premier League rights, since the European Commission forced a split in the sale of rights.

“So far, BT Sport has performed similarly to Setanta and ESPN in terms of audience share, and with little visible gains since launch in the total estimated base of about 3.5 million households taking BT Sport. However, BT has a long-term vision and 2015 promises to be a crunch year,” says Enders.

With the UK TV industry generating circa £12 billion a year on programming spend of less than £6 billion, Enders suggests the current level of rights payments by BT imply a grand annual total of £100+ billion, if all other parties paid the same rate.