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Bt Creates More Inflationary Bubble Pressures In Football?

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But the news that BT was prepared to pay a whopping £900m for exclusive rights to Champions League and Europa League football from 2015, more than double the existing deal with ITV and Sky, and around £400m more than its pay-TV rival was prepared to shell out, must have been enough to raise a smile.


Away from the celebrations in the BT boardroom and the recriminations at Sky Sports' new studios in Osterley, west London, most fans are likely to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Some are already angry that one of their few opportunities to watch the biggest clubs on free-to-air television has been diluted. ITV broadcasts 18 live games per season featuring the biggest clubs, while BT has committed only to showing each British side on a free-to-air basis at least once.

BT has said it will use the free-to-air games to drive subscribers to its sports channels and has already revealed it will have to alter its strategy of giving away BT Sport to its broadband customers to pay for the new rights.

So fans, who have already seen the likes of ITV Digital, Setanta and ESPN come and go as challengers to Sky, will have to potentially fork out for both offerings if they want to follow their side in the Premier League and in Europe.

BT, however, will also argue it will allow those unable to pay £40 a month for Sky Sports access to all European live ties at a reasonable price, rather than just the handful currently shown on ITV.

So fans who get to see 18 games funded by advertising will now get to see less and have a choice of paying say £10 or £20 a month for the privilege. I'm sure football fans can't wait. In fact I'm sure the non football fans with BT will be even more impressed as line rentals will have no doubt increase to subsidise this purchase.

Still at least it gives Sky more money to bid up the next round of Prem League TV rights. Question is does BT have the pockets to outbid Sky for them?

At least the real winners out of this will be the players and their agents who can bid up wages even higher now.

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