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BT Vision surpasses 500k subscribers

Thursday, November 11th 2010 by Cable.co.uk

Some 24,000 consumers signed up to BT Vision in the three months up to September 30 2010, taking its total subscriber base to 520,000.

According to the telecoms giant's financial results for the quarter, its digital TV service attracted 24,000 new customers between July and September 2010.

Almost a tenth of these people have taken BT's Sky Sports offering, which launched in August in time for the start of the 2010-11 Premier League football season.

People signed up to a BT Vision Value Pack, Broadband and Calls bundle can bolt on Sky Sports 1 or 2 to their accounts for £6.99 per month, or choose both channels for £11.99 per month.

Furthermore, the company revealed there will be "further enhancements" made to its pay-TV proposition before Christmas, including faster high-definition downloads and BT's new 3D service, which was unveiled yesterday (10 November).

The 3D TV facility will launch later this month with the screening of New York-based dance movie Step Up 3D.

The latest rise in BT Vision subscribers is good news for BT, which has invested hugely in the service in its bid to break into the TV market.

Many will see the addition of Sky Sports 1 and 2 as a key factor in its growth.

The deal to allow BT Vision customers to watch Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 was signed between BT and Sky in June.

It followed an Ofcom ruling that Sky would have to cut the price it charged rivals to show its premium sports channels.

The regulator’s decision followed a three-year inquiry after BT, Virgin, Top Up TV and Setanta voiced concerns about Sky’s dominance of the pay-TV market, of which it has an estimated 85% market share.

In July BT announced plans to sell Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £16.99 a month from August.

The move saw it undercut Sky, which charges £26 for the channels, sparking a price war between the two providers.

At the time, chief executive of BT Retail Gavin Patterson said the deal had allowed the company to plug a gaping hole in its offering.

"We know that the market is moving increasingly to bundles – TV, broadband, home phone – and you have to have a package across all three parts of the bundle that is competitive," he said.

"Not having Sky Sports has cost us customers. We reckon one in two customers we have approached in the last two years turned us down saying 'Great service but sorry, pal – no Sky Sports, so we're washing our hands of you'."

Mr Patterson said at the time that he thought many customers would be attracted to BT’s cheaper offering – speculation that appears to have been proved by today’s figures.

Comments (1)

Chris Measures
11th November 2010

Bear in mind that BT has spent over £30m marketing the Sky Sports options - and yet only 53,000 people have signed up to it.

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