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SBD Global/March 20, 2013/Media

BT Sport's Solo Sales Could Make It An Expensive Addition For Sky Customers

BT "will sell its sports channels directly to Sky customers" this summer instead of bundling them via Sky like ESPN -- "potentially making it an expensive addition," according to Alex Lane of RECOMBU. Customers "will be able to choose an HD or standard-definition subscription to the package of at least three BT Sport and ESPN channels, by calling BT direct." There is "no deal confirmed for Virgin Media yet," but if one goes through, BT Sport "will join a TV package because Virgin doesn’t allow direct sales by third-party channels." However, it "could cost Sky Sports subscribers dearly" as Sky will not be able "to combine both packages together in a more attractive bundle as they do with ESPN." BT has promised to make its sports channels "available on YouView and Freeview as well as its own BT Vision service" (RECOMBU, 3/18). The HERALD SCOTLAND reported BT's new sports channel, set to rival Sky sports, "will create more than 400 new jobs across the U.K., including at BT’s Scottish contact centres in Glasgow and Dundee." It "will also safeguard the employment of 187 BT people who are being retrained to work for BT Sport customer support" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 3/19).
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