Announced on the day I get a letter from BT to say their putting up the charge for my land line. Could the two events be connected?
Dear BT: please stick to providing a phone/broadband service and leave the content to other people
BT massively padded out its investment in the telecom giant's new Sports TV channel on Saturday after it won the rights to show all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football matches for three seasons from 2015/16. It has splurged £900m on the TV rights, adding to the £738m it already sunk into 38 live Premier …
BT don't have a monopoly any longer
Deciding to join Tesco Broadband for your Internet because you don't want to give money to BT is like telling someone to buy a Skoda so they don't give their money to VW.
BT still have a monopoly in the way they own the landlines in the country (bar Hull, obviously). If you purchase internet that requires a "BT line" (i.e. landline) then money is still going to BT in the form of line rentals.
Like Sky stuck to dishes and content and left the phone/broadband service to other people? Oh... wait... no they didn't.
Like it or not, the market is pushing TV and comms provision ever closer together. And football has proven before to be the perfect brand leader if you want to get a toehold in a market.
It was practically inevitable that BT did something like this. They had to.
@Gav it's not really like that though is it. Sky Broadband runs over BT equipment, so if Sky signs up 1 million customers a year BT gets a chunk of money from those 1 million customers.
I thinks it is quite nice that BT have managed to find almost £1.5bn in the last couple of years for such tribalistic entertainment when they were begging the government for £2bn to roll out fibre across the country.
£18/month for no limits data, and 2000 free minutes for the phone I plug in to the router - what's not to like?
What network is that on, Three?
It's just alot of the other ones offer 'unlimited data' but prevent tethering, so it's as much data as you can use on your device only.
I wonder how long BT can stomach bankrolling this. Many others have tried spending big up front to try and buy success but really only Sky succeeded and that was only because Murdoch had really deep pockets and was prepared to play the long game. Think back to OnDigital!
There's a story about the first match shown on OnDigital where it would have been cheaper to chauffeur drive each viewer to the ground and buy their ticket than it cost to cover the match. That's ignoring the cost of the rights!
I remember getting a nice letter from ITV Digital's Liquidator, 'inviting' me to purchase their receiver.
Sent them a nice letter back politely declining and inviting them to collect their receiver from our house.
They never replied. Nor did they ever collect it.
I can only imagine it's now rotting in landfill, along with many, many of its brethren.
Will BT Sport/vision go the same way, Who knows. But I'll bet old Rupert will just bide his time...
Still have an ondigital box, made a nice (if slow, seemingly typical of Pace STBs) freeview receiver until the freeview system was 'updated' in October.
Currently a monitor stand, might fire it up into the loft as a historic artifact of the early days of digital.
ITV Digital - remember that. The sports channel that bought up all football rights (sound similar?) then ran out of money. They also had a news channel for a while, I remember that from when it would be shown on ITV overnight (similar to BBC News channel). During the Iraq invasion it seemed to show live video of the drive towards Baghdad, like a surreal post apocalyptic roadtrip.
They didn't buy up all the football rights - they paid over-the-odds for Football League football, then found that they couldn't actually pay the Football League for a particular instalment.
Sky didn't have the Football League rights prior, so ITV Digital were overreaching themselves to buy it up before some mythical time that Sky might do.
That money would be so much better spent on improving their coverage. I'm still waiting for them to bring Infinity to my end of the village where I live. The bastards turned left when they got to the top of the road where the exchange is. Net result is that the southern end of the village are nicely cabled up, while the rest of us poor saps have to wait for that dim and distant date where they get round to us. BT know they can afford to make us wait as Virgin's cable coverage stops a mile to the north. So much for consumer choice.
"Net result is that the southern end of the village are nicely cabled up, while the rest of us poor saps have to wait for that dim and distant date where they get round to us. BT know they can afford to make us wait as Virgin's cable coverage stops a mile to the north."
Always the same: the southern bastards get everything, northern folk have to wait...
I hear that.
Broadband speeds in my village are 1.5mb/s.
The infinity postcode check suggests I can get it, upon ordering the BT engineer popped up to the local exchange then phoned me to tell me at 2 miles I'm too far for the signal attenuation, and he wouldn't recommend installation.
I asked BT openreach what it would take to get a DSLAM in the village, as speaking to neighbours there does seem to be some demand. The response was that it needs to be beside an exchange (2 miles away).
"better" according to you, no doubt. But it's a commercial company, not a nationalised utility. It makes decisions based on return on investment. Any large company has a number of options where it spends it's money, and will do so where it thinks fit with a large part of the decision being return on capital.
The reality is in any network business that some areas are highly profitable to serve, others aren't; hence BDUK funding, etc. If a company feels they'll get a better return by investing in football rights than cabling up your village then that's what they'll do.
The two decisions are likely to be independent anyway, since the available capital to a company of this size is sufficient to do both.
...is that many people don't think much of their brand.
Maybe it's time they changed their name again, and chose something bold and daring and ever so slightly plasticky like so many other big, anonymous corporations. For instance:
Norwich Union -> Aviva
British Gas -> Centrica
What kind of name could BT go for?
What about something celestial, like the name of a star or planet...for instance: "Uranus"?
Or how about 'Bolloxa'? That surely sounds exotic and foreign, and in a somewhat strangely smelly way, remotely sexy. Or: ConArt? That name will have the advantage of being immediately recognisable across the channel.
No disrespect here - just a bit of fun.
That's £12 from every man, woman and child in the country. For one year?
Somehow that seems an INCREDIBLY stupid amount of money to pay. They're expecting to get something like £34 extra, from every household in the country, JUST to cover their costs of that one purchase.
Add in the other purchases, the cost of delivering those services that they've paid that for, and subtract the odd subscription for those households who will gladly move to BT JUST to watch the sport - that's some HUGE loss there, surely. Even if you think people will take a more expensive broadband to get the sport, or pay extra for sports channels, etc.
Something just doesn't add up. If I were a shareholder, I'd be demanding an explanation. Just how much do they expect to earn from that £1bn+ investment over the course of that sports season?
Actually 3 years and, yes, it is a colossally stupid amount of money, but that is what football is all about these days. Prices of players, shirts with advertising logos, season tickets, everything very costly at the top levels of the game. I am a BT shareholder but definitely not a fan of football, and I'm not overly concerned about the money spent in light of the immediate market reaction and also the fact that BT doesn't really need to make much of a profit on this if it can just add to the subscriber numbers. The profit is available anyway as Sky's current figures show, and all BT is trying to do is copy what Sky did to Setanta. The real fight starts after 3 years when BT will be wanting to hold and even grow the subscriber base and Sky also knows that they'll need to dig deep in their coffers to launch a counterstrike. The downside for me is that the greedy tossers at the FA, EUFA and FIFA look like being the ultimate winners in all this.
I've got bad news for you. ITV now have 90 minutes more to fill every Wednesday.
I predict either: Midweek X Factor, or movie length Coronation Street.
It's unlikely to be an improvement on the footie. I just hope that BT do their attacking of Sky by messing up football. And leave the cricket alone! Although if they force Sky Sports to be cheaper (fat chance!) then I'd be happy. There was some idiot on the Today Program this morning, saying this BT thing would be good for consumers. Tee hee! As if it doesn't just mean that footie fans will end up having to pay 2 subscriptions, rather than just one.
Roll on sensible sports governing bodies. The NFL will let you buy TV rights for a whole season online for £160. That's all games, and access to all sorts of other stuff, and an archive of all the games since they started doing internet broadcasting (about 6 years). Or for half that you can just have access to all the games for the team you support.
RIP MotoGP on Eurosport :( Now only available on BT Sport.
What's annoying is that I know how this will all turn out. They'll get bored / run out of money in a few years then coverage will end up back on Eurosport. Can't we just fast fwd past this inevitable debacle?
BT have gone crazy with these football TV rights and now that has set the market price for any future negotiations. I'd like to see a model where you could just subscribe to all your team's Premier League games, including the Saturday 3pm matches. I have literally no time or interest in watch the matches of teams I don't support. To prevent the TV money being dominated by the better supported teams, you have a standard price with all subscription money going to the Premier League and split evenly amongst all teams. Not being able to watch the 3pm kick offs (legitimately) is annoying, especially when there's live English commentary at all the games and they're being beamed live around the world.
"RIP MotoGP on Eurosport :( Now only available on BT Sport."
Which is available on Sky (like eurosport is) and Virgin and is free to BT Broadband subscribers..In other words, a wider audience than Eurosport.
You had to pay for Eurosport, now you have to pay for BT,
If you had said RIP to MotoGP on the BBC, you would have a point.
MotoGP is now far bigger here because of the BBC's coverage (in spite of the crap commentators), not because of the French Eurosport's delayed coverage.
Football I couldn't give a free-kick about.
Oh yes I'm aware of the streaming sites. Not that I've ever used them of course, oh no, ahem.
I should have clarified that I actually subscribe to Eurosport Player since I refuse to pay for Sky, that and the budget never being signed off by the missus. I've always really enjoyed Eurosport coverage of all sports so I'm happy to pay them a few beans per month. Just a shame it's Silverlight and I could totally ditch Windows on my HTPC.
So my only method of getting BT Sport would be to subscribe to BT broadband and quite frankly I'd rather stick pins in my eyes.
Self inflicted, instead of sticking two fingers up at Sky and BT the sheep will pay over the odds or take up Broadband to get to see 'their' team play. Instead subscribers should stick two fingers at them and say no. No one pays, they collapse, price comes down, back on the normal telly.....
No wait, forget that, football matches on terrestrial telly? Saturdays and Sundays taken up by sport and the odd 30 year old film.... No thanks.
Blame Sky then - they were the ones that started all this pay pay pay for TV, so they get subscriptions AND have adverts to grab even more.
BTSport is not mandatory on the Sky platform. If you don't want to pay BT, don't.
Just keep supporting the utterly pure and respectable Murdoch organisation, you know, the one that paid £336m corporation tax on its £6.4bn income....
Think they should view sport for free when you need to purchase a ticket to watch it in person?
As for BTs regular invitation to have a "free box" with not much more than paid content on it for "only" £5/month Im not interested, nor am I interested in renewing my 12 month contract just to get "free" sports channels.
Line rental and broadband access goes to Openreach, whereas this is BT retail.
(that's also the reason you get two boxes with BT Infinity)
Some might be hard pressed to tell the difference of course, esp as Mr Patterson is CEO of both!
Brings forward the day of a complete split between the two methinks
Good points, I think you are correct with a complete split prediction.
BT has always wanted to be a Broadcaster, seem to remember it was Maggie Thatcher that banned BT from broadcasting to allow the cable companies to recover their investment in laying cable, that worked well.
As noted by others almost 10% cut off the value of Sky stock today :-)
BT will also broadcast some of the games free, which is more than Sky ever does, Sky have needed some competition for sometime, lets hope BT can do it, I was a happy customer of BT with BT Vision though sports is of little interest to me it is a massive win for BT, this is how Sky got such a hold on pay tv by bidding high for the premier league or was it First division football rights.
I personally would have preferred if they had invested 1.5 billion into production of some decent content, that would mean drama, comedy and TV like we used to have, rather than line the pockets of over paid footballers. But compared to football fans I am very much in the minority.
God help us if that day ever comes. The quality of TV has nosedived since the advent of Sky with the BBC having to go downmarket as well to keep up it's ratings (imagine the hoo-ha over the licence fee if the BBC was not still regularly topping the ratings). If the BBC were to go then 24/7/365 X-factor/Big Brother/Get me out of here, etc ..............
The BBC does not need ratings. It gets it's money from the licence fee. It is not nor has it ever been in competition with anyone. The BBC could show paint drying and you would still be forced to pay them. The BBC goes down market to save money on programming to pay the directors millions in bonuses and helicopter rides.
They love it when plebs defend them as if they are the holders of quality standards. TV has gone the way it is because the market allows it. If people hated crap tv they wouldn't subscribe to it.
Surprised the Reg hasn't picked up on this - frittering money away like this could have serious ramifications for us all.
Y'see, just like the digital TV failures of a few years ago, BT could collapse if they insist on pissing money up against the wall like this without seeing a decent return on investment. Before you all say that the government won't let that happen because BT's responsible for National Critical Infrastructure, just remember this - the infrastructure in question is confined to the PSTN, several dedicated networks that link various government and private NCI sites and the 999 service. The great unwashed like us can whistle if we think we'd be allowed near any of that.
If it did happen, the government would bail out BT, but only to ensure that the NCI they're responsible for is protected. Streaming media, content-free content, overpriced footy matches and all the rest of it are not classed as NCI and they could vanish overnight. So too could home broadband connections - apart from some essential exceptions, they're not classed as NCI either. We'd be back in an instant to the days of 56K dial-up connections. If you've still got that old Pace Linnet in the attic, you might want to hang on to it.
I used to work for BT, so I do (for once) know what I'm talking about.
Indeed. I think my reaction to the disappearance of football would be somewhere between 'meh' and 'wha'evvah'.
But the loss of most of the UK's home broadband connections is a different matter, because conceivably that's what could happen if BT went bust - and it would take time for the remaining telcos to cherry-pick what they wanted. And you can bet the remains of BT would do their damndest to lose the Universal Service Obligation, so tough titty if you live out in the sticks and want a phone line.
All joking apart, there is a risk of this happening - the bulk of the UK's broadband connections could be at risk of going tits-up just because some cretins though it made sense to blow hundreds of millions on the right to show groups of men kicking a ball about.
Why does the Reg seem always to be in favour of Sky? Anyone who starts breaking the Sky broadcasting monopoly is good for me. Murdoch used his ill-gotten gains from moving The Sun to Wapping to fund Sky for years. Now someone is coming along who can give them a run for their money, unlike the previous attempts which have lacked the background structure .......
I'm not a big fan of the Murdoch monopoly BUT... the constant federation of sports rights is in no way beneficial for the consumer.
If someone happens to be a big football fan they now have to buy a service from Sky, BT, ESPN possibly just to watch their team play.
Surely it would make more sense just to sell job lot to one vendor every year, at least then we'd have time to switch if needs be.
The only people who benefit from the 'competition' are they rights holders as they get silly auctions where idiots from BT burn money on content formerly the paid for by adverts. (in the champions league bit)
Last time I was in the US ESPN seemed to have mountains of channels with each one having a particular sport on, so presumably you could subscribe to certain sports or sport bundles.
With these kind of auctions I can only see the price to the end consumer going up in the long run as the costs have to be recovered so the net result (pardon the pun) will be sports viewing gets more expensive in the long run regardless of the model.
I guess this has to be viewed as an attempt to shore up their broadband customers rather than making the money back through subscriptions as that would be impossible, so if BT is targeting 5% growth in subscriptions that may cover a good proportion of the cost. Its funny how after 30 odd years of deregulation people now associate competition with price rises as so often all we've done is move from a benevolent monopoly to a malevolent one.
Sorry, no cheers here. But this deal just illustrates how screwed the international rights market is.
From abroad, this now looks properly crazy. Like insane. Weird on a stick-like.
I predict that over time we will see a more individual subscription model, as someone mentioned the US works already. By over time I mean decades btw.
Spotify for TV anyone?
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