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BT says it is level-pegging with Sky in pubs market

BT has said it is making significant inroads to the UK pubs and clubs market with its BT Sport offering.

Citing the results of an independent survey by Sweeney Pinedo in April based on 2,011 telephone interviews, the telco says it has signed up 19,000 commercial premises, including pubs, clubs, betting shops, hotels and other premises, over the nine months since the service launched.

BT  claims to have captured a 24% share of all pubs, including groups and independents, placing it almost on a par with BSkyB which delivers services to 25% of UK pubs.

BT’s service is available via satellite to pubs and clubs that already have equipment to receive Sky’s service, and BT is also installing equipment at no extra charge to commercial premises that do not yet take the Sky offering.

Other significant commercial contracts for BT include one with bookmaker chain Betfred, where the telco delivers its three channels to 1,400 outlets across the UK.

“To sign up 19,000 customers is a fantastic achievement and underlines the appeal and the affordability of BT Sport. And to achieve a 24 per cent share of pubs in our first year is phenomenal,” said Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers, BT Sport.

“A year ago we said we wanted to bring premium live sport to a wider audience including those that were unable to afford Sky’s high prices, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. To be able to grow the market by 26 per cent and to be a part of what pubs are able to offer their customers is enormously satisfying. Our success in the commercial TV sports market adds to our achievements in the consumer area, where BT Sport is now available in around five million homes.”