The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

BSkyB currently broadcasts the bulk of English Premier League matches as a pay-TV product. BT will now offers some matches for free.
BSkyB currently broadcasts the bulk of English Premier League matches as a pay-TV product. BT will now offers some matches for free.
(PHIL NOBLE/REUTERS)

BREAKINGVIEWS

U.K. telcos feel heat as BT gatecrashes the pay-TV party

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks. Click here to read more international insights.

BT’s free sports gambit is an attempt to out-Sky Sky. The U.K. telco on May 9 surprised investors by offering new broadband users the chance to watch live Premier League soccer for no extra charge. The 2-per-cent, 6-per-cent and 12-per-cent drops in the share prices of BT, BSkyB and smaller competitor TalkTalk, respectively, may look like an extreme response to the move, but they reflect rational fears of a price war.