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SBD Global/August 27, 2013/Media

BT Forced To Rethink Advertising Plan For TV Sport Channels

BT "has had to revise its plans to sell advertising space on its TV sports channels despite undercutting rival Sky Sports rates" by as much as 20%, according to Robert Budden of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Media buyers said BT had "sought to lock in advertisers to deals for as long as 10 months," but that limited demand for these packages meant "it has been forced to offer shorter deals." At the same time, "it has undercut Sky on ad rates," with media buyers saying that "advertising slots on BT Sport were about 10 to 20 per cent cheaper than those of its rival satellite broadcaster." Media buyers estimated that annual advertising revenues for BT’s new sports channels "appeared poised to exceed" £10M ($16M) annually. The telecom operator has to date invested about £1B ($1.6B) in its new sports channels, including having paid £738M ($1.2B) for the rights to 32 Premier League games per season for three years. According to Sales Dir Jonathan Allan, Channel 4, which is selling advertising space for BT’s new sports channels, had "so far exceeded internal revenue targets" (FT, 8/26).
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