More than half a million households have signed up to receive BT’s three sports channels, the company announced in Thursday.
Available free to BT Broadband customers and BT TV subscribers, the channels will be available via tablet and smartphone apps, YouView from BT and BT Vision+ boxes and Sky HD+.
Sky customers who have broadband from BT will receive the channels free, those with broadband from Sky or another provider can subscribe for £12 per month, or £15 per month for the HD versions.
The channels, BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN launch on August 1st and will offer football fans 38 Barclays Premier League matches per season.
Broadcast from the Olympic Park in East London, they’ll also carry exclusive Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) coverage and 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.
Sport-related entertainment shows including Danny Baker and Danny Kelly’s phone-in show and a chat show hosted by Clare Balding will also feature.
Announcing the Group’s results for the first quarter to 30 June 2013, BT Chief Executive Ian Livingston said: “It is early days but we are very pleased with the strong start in BT Sport. More than half a million households have now ordered BT Sport and that’s before the channels have even launched.”
In a statement the company said “most” customers taking Bt Sport were “customers who have re-contracted their broadband service” but that it expected “the proportion of new customers to increase after we launch the channels on 1 August.”
Livingston said the company took 50% of all new broadband sign-ups in the UK during the quarter and that take-up of its fibre-based Infinity service “is strong”.
BT’s total fibre user-base now stands at around 1.5m, with 265,000 net connections, including 197,000 new retail customers, during the quarter.
TV subscribers grew by 23,000 taking the total customer base to 833,000. BT doesn’t separate out sign-ups to its older BT Vision+ and newer YouView from BT platforms.
The Group’s operating costs fell 1% but were “partly offset by around £40m of pre-launch costs for BT Sport”. Overall revenue was also down 1% but adjusted pre-tax profits grew 5% to £595m.