UK telco BT and cable platform Virgin Media have announced a three-year deal giving Virgin subscribers full and immediate access to BT’s new Sport TV channels.
The wholesale agreement significantly boosts the number of homes that can watch BT Sport from this weekend – the kick-off of the lucrative English Premier League season – from the 1 million BT sign-ups to date.
The deal means that Liberty Global-owned Virgin Media can offer BT Sport direct to its 3.8 million TV customers. It also means that BT Sport 1 and 2 are available in the UK via cable, satellite and DTT, as well as via broadband.
Virgin Media’s premium XL TV customers – who make up more than 80% of its subscribers – will automatically receive the new channels as part of their packages. Virgin Media will also offer the channels as a standalone premium service to TV customers without the XL pack, for £15 a month.
Virgin Media subscribers can also access football via UK market leader Sky – which will continue to show the majority of games.
BT TV chief executive Marc Watson said: “BT has made a large investment in BT Sport and this is an important commercial agreement for us that recognises the excellence of the channels. We are keen to make our services as widely available as possible and to do so via wholesale arrangements. We are doing this with Sport.”
BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League.