BT drops more sports coverage as it looks to make more money from its 18m customers
- BT Sport will stop showing the NBA basketball at the end of October
- Customers will be able to watch ultimate fighting championship until December
- A new broadcaster for the two sports has not yet been announced
- Head of BT Consumer said the strategy for BT Sport had now changed
BT has lost the right to broadcast NBA basketball and Ultimate Fighting Championship, it has been reported.
Customers will be able to continue watching the basketball until the end of October and UFC until December 3rd.
This comes a week after it was reported that BT had lost the rights to the Italian Serie A football matches, which will now be shown by Eleven Sports.
BT Sport will stop showing the NBA basketball at the end of October
The firm’s decision to walk away from bidding for the NBA and UFC was reported in an interview with the FT.
A BT spokesperson told us: ‘We cannot comment on the live discussions with rights holders at this stage, such as UFC and NBA, however we can say that we won’t bid any more than the rights are worth to us, as we focus on greater distribution of BT Sport and investing in more broadcast innovations.
‘BT Sport remains the home of UFC and NBA at this stage, and we have long-term deals in place for our core content.
‘BT Sport customers will continue to receive great football, rugby and boxing next season among a wide range of sports – including every single match from rugby’s Heineken Champions Cup.
‘We will also be the only place to watch live coverage of the UEFA Champions League while from next season highlights coverage will not be available anywhere else.’
A new broadcaster for the two sports has not yet been announced.
The channel was launched in 2013 and now shows a number of exclusive sports, including Premier League and Champions League games.
This follows on from news last week that BT was set to hike prices for millions of customers.
A new broadcaster for the two sports has not yet been announced
Chief executive Gavin Patterson has said the telecom titan is no longer focused on competing with cheap rivals for new business. Instead, he wants to extract more cash from its 18m existing customers.
This is likely to mean price rises for some products. It will aggressively push faster internet speeds, and BT TV subscriptions.
Mr Patterson will leave his position later this year after being ousted for poor share price performance.
In May he announced 13,000 jobs cuts as part of an ambitious £1.5bn cost savings programme, but the move left investors cold and prompted the ongoing search for his successor.
BT has also unveiled profits of £816million for the three months to June 30, up 3 per cent on a year earlier. Overall revenues dipped 2 per cent to £5.7billion.
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