BT share price: Group confident it has scope for higher football prices

on Aug 8, 2016
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

BT Group (LON:BT.A) believes that it has more room than rivals such as Sky (LON:SKY) to raise prices for customers in an effort to retain Premier League television rights after 2018, The Times has reported. The comments come with the former telecoms monopoly preparing to broadcast the first matches in its joint £5.14-billion three-year deal with Sky Sports this weekend.

BT’s share price has inched higher in London this morning, having added 0.21 percent to 407.40p as of 09:59 BST. The advance is largely in line with gains in the broader market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed 0.32 percent to 6,815.06 points. Sky’s share price meanwhile is 0.27 percent up at 911.42p.
John Petter, the boss of BT’s consumer division, told The Times that BT Sport “clearly has more room” to increase customer charges than rival Sky Sports, which has higher minimum monthly costs. He pointed out in an interview with the newspaper that the former telecoms monopoly ‘absolutely’ intended to bid for Premier League rights again, while adding that that the company would take a disciplined approach to bidding, conducting market research before altering prices.

The Times also quoted Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, as acknowledging that the contest was a “hugely important” part of its offering to customers and noting that the broadcaster would “always look to invest where our customers see the most value”.
The comments come as UEFA also prepares to put the Champions League and Europa League on the block again in autumn. The Telegraph quoted HSBC as saying that it does not expect Sky to regain the rights as it already faces rocketing costs for its dominance of the Premier League. Sky has paid £4.2 billion to show 126 matches a season over the next three years, while BT’s bill stands at £960 million for 42 matches a season.
As of 10:33 BST, Monday, 08 August, BT Group plc share price is 408.07p.