BT Says Sport Investment Is Boosting Broadband Business

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BT Sport is contributing to the company’s growing broadband base as revenue increases in Q4

BT believes it is reaping the benefits of investing billions of pounds into premium sports television rights, with BT Sport now available in five million homes and contributed to the company adding 869,000 customers to its fibre network in the past year.

This accounted for the majority of the 1.3 million additional connections to the Openreach open access network in the past 12 months, with BT adding 249,000 of the 347,000 new superfast customers during the most recent quarter.

In total, BT added 572,000 new broadband (DSL and fibre) customers in the past 12 months, a market share of 69 percent. BT Sport is available at no extra cost to all BT broadband customers and the company was keen to point out that this market share was 50 percent during Q1 but had reached 75 percent following the launch of the channels in August.

BT broadband users

BT Sport (1)“BT Sport has proved very popular and we are delighted the service is now in around five million homes,” says BT CEO Gavin Patterson. “For BT Consumer it underpinned a record 9 percent growth in revenue in the fourth quarter and the lowest line losses in over five years. We achieved an excellent 79 percent share of broadband market net additions in the quarter.”

Quarterly revenues fell by one percent to £4.75 billion, but profits rose by 17 percent to £747 million. Full year revenues are flat at £18.3 billion, as are profits at £2.3 billion, but Patterson believes its ongoing investment in fibre, including projects funded by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative have given the company a platform for future growth.

“Our investment in fibre is delivering with 1.3 million more premises taking fibre this year, almost doubling the number of homes and businesses now connected,” he adds. “Our rollout is ahead of schedule with our fibre network passing more than 19 million premises, around two thirds of the UK. But we are not stopping there. All of our BDUK projects are underway and will help take the coverage of all fibre networks to at least 90 percent of the UK, bringing significant benefits to communities across the nation.”

One of BT’s main rivals, Virgin Media, announced yesterday it had increased its fibre user base to 3.4 million, moving 189,700 new and existing customers to its superfast network, representing 77 percent of its 4.4 million broadband subscribers.

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