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SBD Global/July 29, 2013/Media
BT Sport Wants EPL Dressing Room Access; Rivals BSkyB Launch Pay-As-You-Go Gadget
Published July 29, 2013
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NOT A THREAT: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Jones & Budden wrote BSkyB "shrugged off the mounting threat posed by BT in televised sport on Friday, as robust annual results enabled it to increase its dividend by almost a fifth and to promise further share buybacks." BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch played down the launch of BT's sports channels, which will feature live EPL football matches -- "a niche BSkyB has profitably dominated by means of its Sky Sports arm." Darroch said that "Sky Sports was thriving and had customers who remained very loyal." Darroch: "We feel very good about where Sky Sports is and what we have got planned." Only days before BT Sport's launch on Thursday, BSkyB on Friday launched a £9.99 ($15.37) gadget that can be plugged into a TV "to allow non-subscribers to watch its sports coverage over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis." Although "some content will be free after the initial purchase," users would need to pay an additional £9.99 to access Sky Sports channels. On-demand films "would also cost extra." The launch "was seen as an attempt by the satellite broadcaster to grab market share" from the estimated 11 million Freeview households in the U.K. which do not subscribe to any form of pay TV (FT, 7/26).