BT Sport – The Game Changer

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BT are ready to offer free football once again for the highest level. Is it going to change the landscape?

I work for BT in Ireland; I work in IT Service Management. I don’t work for BT Sport, nor do I work in marketing. The following views are my own, as a sports fan.

All around the country ads are appearing in bus stops, newspapers, online, on the TV – on high rise buildings. You cannot miss the advertising onslaught that BT has unleashed upon the nation – with one aim – to advertise what they are calling The Game Changer; BT Sports.

BT has struggled to make a serious impact on the television market since launching BT Vision in December, 2006. This is despite the fact that BT Vision is actually quite a good product with an ‘On-Demand’ service that is fantastic for movies, music, kids TV and then some. BT identified that the key to unlocking some serious market share and being taken seriously as a contender, if not primary rival to Sky, is simply…..

Sport.

And sport in itself probably wouldn’t cut it; they needed the Barclays Premier League. I know I was shocked when it was announced last year that BT had bid for and won 38 games for the 2013/14 season, including 18 top picks. And they were creating their own studio and sports channels. After the shock followed excitement as this shows that this company has ambition. And then there was hope, hope that now that a serious competitor was emerging, that Premier League football might become more affordable, less of a high priced luxury.

And that’s where ‘The Game Changer’ comes in. Now that BT Sports 1 and 2 are only weeks away from making their television and online debuts BT have announced that they are going to be made available, free of charge, to all BT Broadband customers. For the first time in two decades, football at the highest level will once again be free.

For those who choose not to be BT Broadband customers the charges aren’t too bad, certainly more than competitive in the current marketplace.

There is no doubt that there is now, arguably for the first time, a real competitor in the TV space, particularly within the Sports sector.

The game has indeed changed!

image: © rich_w

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