Is The BT Sport Champions League Deal Good For Football?

It has been announced that from the 2015-2016 season, BT Sport will have exclusive rights for all Champions League football matches in the UK. After beating off competition from Sky Sports and ITV, the newest sports channel to hit our shores has mixed it up and secure the rights to show Europe’s premier competition.

Details about how much the channel will cost in those seasons has yet to be announced, but currently the BT Sport subscription is £12 a month plus you need to pay a £15 joining fee. The channel is free however if you have BT Broadband in your home.

Select matches during the group stages and knockout rounds will be shown live if you don’t have the channel, and the final will be free as well. So the question is will people pay an extra £12 a month to see their team play in the Champions League. Obviously, this could effect Arsenal fans as we are usually in that competition.

My initial thoughts were that fans of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal would probably not pay the extra £12 a month. This was because people are struggling these days and if they are big football fans, the likelihood is that they will already have a Sky package. That is expensive in itself so adding on an extra £12 (which we would have to do now) just adds to the bills.

If you already have the channel then fair enough, it won’t make a difference to you but I have the full Sky package and along with the free terrestrial channels, all my Arsenal football needs are met. Do I really want to pay an extra £12 a month? It doesn’t sound like a lot but as every homeowner knows, the amount you pay on bills can rack up quickly.

So what are the alternatives? People will either not bother with BT Sport and there will be a rise in the number looking for online streaming websites where they show these games or the other option is to sign up to BT Broadband. As I’m not fussed about my broadband provider, the chances are I’ll just do that. And I suppose that is what BT want – more and more people signing up to their broadband packages.

And I’ve never watched an online stream of a game before, because when I’ve seen friends do it, it’s more pixelated than a Nintendo Gameboy.


1 thought on “Is The BT Sport Champions League Deal Good For Football?

  1. The BT deal is a clear example of false competition as far as the consumer is concerned. It is the wrong type of competition aimed at maximising revenue for UEFA and the competing clubs and has nothing to do with a fair deal for consumers. Competition for exclusive rights simply leads to fragmented monopoly providers who are then able to charge what they think they are able to get away with. The result for the consumer is inevitably significantly increased costs for the total package of games. There may come a tipping point when significant numbers of consumers are unwillingn to keep paying more more and more for the same total football covearge, but who knows what that point is. It is unlikely that subscription rates will come down soon, if ever, for a reduced Sky package. And BT will probably lead with a relatively attractive package, but inevitably their monopoly position will lead them to milk the consumer for every penny they can get. The only competition that is in consumer interests is competition for non-exclusive rights where broadcaters have to fight for and win over customers by the quality of their respective presentations. That will never happen as it reduces the value to UEFA and the clubs, and would involve too much effort and risk for the providers. Be wary of apparent competition in a market, as it is not always good for for the consumer.


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