BT and football: Sick as a parrot
I wrote back in August about BT’s ambitious plans to take on Sky with live Premiership football through BT Vision. Rumours at the time were that BT’s marketing blitz was simply not scoring with viewers.
Well, quarterly results are now in and BT Vision seems to be showing relegation form. While adding 53,000 subscribers in eight months might seem a credible result, this is at a cost of £30m in marketing spend. This is even below the predicted 60,000 that analysts were talking about.
I’ve already analysed why I think BT has got it wrong, but it is worth looking into the figures. The cost of recruiting every new Sky Sports subscriber has been over £560 – on packages which start at £16.99 a month. At that rate it would take nearly 3 years to for BT to move into profit on an individual customer – and that’s ignoring operating costs and fees to Sky. It reminds me a lot of the ITV Digital debacle, when that broadcaster stumped up a whopping £315 million for the rights to show Football League – viewing figures were so low it was calculated it would have been cheaper to chauffeur viewers to some matches and shell out for their tickets and pies rather than pay the broadcasting fees. BT isn’t going to go bust in the same way but needs to think again on how it becomes a content provider, rather than a utility telco………
- BT’s Premier League own goal? (measuresconsulting.wordpress.com)
- Online football streaming fails to take off (econsultancy.com)
- Bumper broadband sales fail to lift BT revenue (independent.co.uk)