BT share price: Company reshuffles senior management of TV business
BT Group Plc (LON:BT.A) has made significant changes to the top management of its television unit as it prepares to begin its Champions League push after the end of the current football season, The Telegraph has reported. The newspaper said yesterday that Alex Green, head of BT TV was leaving the business later this year. BT has confirmed Green’s departure.
A spokesman for the company told The Telegraph: “Alex Green, Head of BT TV, has decided to leave BT in order to pursue new opportunities. Alex will leave in July after completing preparations for the launch of exclusively live UEFA Champions League football on BT Sport.”
Following Green’s departure BT TV will be led by Delia Bushell, a former Sky Italia executive, who BT hired a year ago as managing director of the TV unit. Bushell called Green “pivotal” for the division’s success so far, but noted that “he now feels it’s the right time to take on his next challenge”.Bushell added: “[Green] leaves with my personal thanks for his substantial contribution”.
The Telegraph also cited unnamed sources, who said that Richard Young, the head of business development, Kate Dean, the director of content and James Lord, the head of commercial for BT Sport, had recently left BT.
Bushell is currently reorganising the division, aiming to create a simpler structure that will bring all aspects of BT’s TV business closer together. According to The Telegraph, the reorganisation will see Green’s role split into commercial and content functions.
Sport remains the centrepiece of BT’s strategy for its TV business and it seems that the Champions League will play a big part in the company’s plans. The telecoms giant is planning to launch new bundles, offering superfast broadband and mobile service alongside exclusive European club football, and sharpening its efforts tosell to the pub market. BT also intends to charge for Champions League coverage, in a shift from its approach to offer its sports channels gratis to broadband customers. The Telegraph quoted Bushell as describing the upcoming push as a “big moment” for BT TV, “almost as big as the launch of BT Sport two years ago”.
BT Sport was launched in August 2013, with ambitions to challenge Sky Plc’s (LON:SKY) dominance in the UK’s premium sports market. In one of its first major wins over its rival, BT Sport outbid Sky to acquire exclusive rights to broadcast live UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League football competitions for three seasons from 2015/16. BT paid almost £900 million for the exclusive rights.
In today’s trading, BT shares were up 0.3 percent at 466.80p, as of 10:00 UTC. The stock has risen 16.3 percent since the start of the year. The company’s market capitalisation currently stands at nearly £39 billion.
As of 13:36 GMT, Monday, 23 March, BT Group plc share price is 464.23p.