BT Sport launches tomorrow

It is a big day for BT tomorrow (August 1st) as they launch their two sports channels in an attempt to take on BSkyB’s supremacy in the market. The launch, which will be fronted by former BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, takes place at 18:00 and will be live on both BT Sport channels. For those ordering the channel, today is your last opportunity to order BT Sport with high definition at no added cost for a year. The cost there after is an additional £3.00 to watch BT Sport in HD. More details about the cost can be found here.

In terms of motor sport, BT Sport will be providing live coverage of the IndyCar Series from this Sunday onwards, whilst they will also be providing NASCAR coverage and exclusive Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP coverage from 2014. A lot of people may be judgemental about BT Sport early on, but as I noted two weeks ago, it is not the first month that matters, instead it is more so about the first half a year where trends may emerge.

BT Sport 1 and 2 can be found on channels 58 and 59 on BT Vision, 507 and 508 on YouView and channels 413 and 414 on the Sky platform. ESPN UK’s channel number will be remaining the same, but as a result of the transaction, ESPN America and ESPN Classic will cease broadcasting today. As of writing however, no carriage deal has been announced with Virgin Media. I will update this blog if that changes.

2 thoughts on “BT Sport launches tomorrow

  1. I still believe Pay TV sport from a single supplier is illegal.

    A monopoly is defined as:-

    ‘Exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices’.

    How is it that companies like Sky and BT can operate these monopolies in plain sight and even advertise them, yet avoid the regulation of the Competition Commission?

  2. Hi Polblagger – Quick thoughts:

    – in terms of “pay” tv surely the BBC would be a monopoly provider by your definition?
    – taking another definition that considers the commodity or service as “sport” within the TV “market” Sky aren’t a monopoly on those grounds. That’s how I’d see the situation.
    – In terms of market power competition comes from BBC, ITV, Eurosport, BT, Prime etc. In the past Setanta and ESPN provided the main counterbalance in the rights market to guard against monopsony.
    – Sky is clearly competing on price point and offer with BT..
    – Highlights packages are freely traded.
    – BT’s entry into the market is a function of further EU action against one provider of live Premier League – that is because those specific rights have the potential to move demand.

    So I’d see Sky and BT (along with Eurosport, ITV, BBC, Channel 4) as competitors in an imperfect but functioning market. Incidentally what would action would you envisage regulators taking if they intervened?

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