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Top sport tempting consumers to pay more for broadband and TV packages

Friday, October 16th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Consumers are being drawn towards ‘premium’ broadband, phone and TV packages by tempting sports packages, new research has found.

Research from Kantar Worldpanel, which measures the market share of home services providers – covering broadband, fixed landline and paid TV – suggests that despite a range of ‘value’ promotions, customers are still attracted to more expensive options by strong sports offerings from the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media.

The data, for the three months ending 30 September, showed Sky, BT and Virgin all gaining a share in overall market sales on the last quarter, while TalkTalk saw its market share fall.

Both Sky and BT have seen their market share grown by more than three percentage points on the previous quarter to 30.2% and 26.2% respectively, with more than a quarter of those joining BT citing its sports package as the reason for doing so.

In contrast, TalkTalk’s market share has fallen by 4.7 percentage points to 13.4%, the research found.

Imran Choudhary, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “BT has been heavily promoting its newly-acquired UEFA European Champions League football content and as a result has seen its market share grow by over 3.8 percentage points compared with the three months before.

“In fact, over a quarter of those customers who joined BT in the last three months cited its sports package as the reason for doing so – higher than any other provider.

“Meanwhile, Sky has grown share by 3.2 percentage points to 30.2% thanks to its Premier League football content and value-driven Broadband Unlimited package, which offers 12 months free broadband.”

Kantar’s research also suggested that Virgin Media, which offers both BT Sport and Sky Sports through its platform, has seen its market share grown by more than 1.8 percentage points in the last quarter.

'Good value'

The company said that as well as providing popular sports packages, all three providers had also increased the length or strength of their broadband discounts.

It said that TalkTalk's overall share in the run up to the football season had dropped by 4.7 percentage points on last quarter, despite it launching its offering of Premier League football for £11 a month in August.

According to Kantar's research, Sky’s market share in fixed broadband jumped by almost 10 percentage points to 27.1%, just behind BT on 27.9%.

While TalkTalk’s free broadband package was tempting to some consumers, the provider's share of broadband and landline sales fell by 7.1 and 4.9 percentage points respectively as consumers headed for stronger dual or triple-play packages elsewhere, said Kantar.

Mr Choudhary added: “9% of consumers who currently use a home service have stated that they will change their provider at the next available opportunity, with 26% of those currently on a dual-play package wanting to move to a triple-play offer.

“With suppliers clamouring to beat each other on value, it’s vital that they continue to present a high quality service if they want to retain customers in the long term.

“Increasingly, consumers are eager to consolidate their services under one provider, so suppliers need to be savvy in how they up-sell their services without compromising on good value and customer satisfaction.”

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