BT gears up for next Premier League auction

BT's ad campaign for BT Sport

BT’s original ad campaign for BT Sport

BT is reportedly considering a bid for all Premier League football rights at the next broadcast rights auction, which is expected to begin as early as the end of this year.

Speaking to the Financial Times, BT CEO Gavin Patterson said: “We can go for same as today or potentially go up to bidding for everything. There is a range of options we can look at.”

Patterson said BT is “not going to go crazy,” but said he expected the next top-flight football auction to be competitive, adding that BT was in a strong position having already secured exclusive live TV rights to all Champions League football from the 2015/16 season onwards.

John Petter, the chief executive of BT’s consumer division, told The Daily Telegraph at the weekend that BT had “a full spectrum of options” going into the next Premier League auction.

“We don’t necessarily have to go long because we have this very strong portfolio now. Our business model is different to Sky’s: we’re not charging people high prices and so we could choose to do the same again, we could even choose to do less, or we could choose a little bit more,” he said.

In 2012, BT won the rights to broadcast live Premier League football for the first time, securing rights to 38 matches a season from 2013-14 to 2015-16 out of a total 154 live matches – with Sky airing the remainder.

Though no single broadcaster can take the rights to all the live rights, the last competitive auction generated in excess of £3 billion for the English Premier League.

Separately, BT announced on Friday that it is opening a viewing area in Stratford, East London, called the BT Sport ‘Fan Crèche’.

The crèche will be open seven days a week and will allow around 100 people at a time to sample, for free, BT’s sport channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN.

BT described the initiative as a “specially-created, interactive, luxury environment” with free refreshments available at selected times.