But the number of subscribers to its BT TV platform fell on the quarter by 5,000 in a period where the telco previously added 52,000 new subs. Over the course of the year BT grew its TV subs by 100,000 to 1.8 million.
Commenting on the overall results, Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, BT said “Our third quarter financial results are broadly in line with our expectations and we remain confident in our outlook for the full year. We continue to improve our customer experience metrics across the Group, with our sixth successive quarter of improved customer perception.
“We agreed a reciprocal wholesale deal with Sky that will deliver market leading sports and entertainment channels to our BT TV platform by early 2019, reinforcing our strategic goal of being the best provider in the UK of converged network services.”
Audiences for BT Sport grew 23 per cent, making it the best performing quarter since launch. It was boosted by the continued strong performance of the UEFA Champions League as well as exclusive coverage of the Ashes.
“Over time, BT Sport has taken the fight to Sky Sports. The big question now is whether it can outplay the latter by securing a “Super Sunday” game or try to own all of Saturday. It would need to invest more money, which may be an unlikely scenario, having been hit by a number of scandals over the past year and its daunting pension deficit,” said Paolo Pescatore, CCS Insight, VP, Multiplay and Media.
“More significantly, all customers now pay for BT Sport which will help the unit generate new revenue and raise much needed funds for the acquisition of further sports rights. This is line with our initial beliefs when BT launched BT Sport and offered it for free which long term was unsustainable.”