Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:08 AM
The key to BT's business model is "triple pay" customers - i.e those that take phone, broadband and TV services. With them ramping up their offering by paying top dollar for sports, it sets in motion a three-way showdown between themselves, Sky and Virgin Media for this lucrative market. Their acquisition of sports so far has been driven by the idea that securing rights to certain sports - Premiership, union etc - will attract customers, either those new to "triple pay" or those with existing services that may switch. They would only bid for Rugby League rights if they think it is a strong enough offering to guarantee getting subscribers.
Since RL in the UK has been tied in to Sky for so long, it's hard to know what the sport's "open" market value is for either Sky or BBC. Yes, viewing figures are decent, but chances are it's not the sort of sport that will get new people subscribing. Those who take Sky for RL may switch, but those casual viewers who, say, watch football and RL on occasions, may not see enough worth to switch. From RL's point of view, we may gain more from being on Sky than BT, but then again wrapping up both codes of rugby on the same channels - e.g BT - might also attract some of those open enough to watch both sports.
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
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