The UK pay TV company said that viewership of its BT Sport offering had increased by 46% thanks in part to coverage of Champions League and Europa League football.
BT said that 20 football matches recorded peak concurrent viewing above one million viewers between August and the end of the year, compared with only 12 for the previous season. The majority of both consumer and commercial BT Sport customers take the full range of the company’s sports channels, according to BT.
BT also saw a strong boost to its mobile numbers, with 300,000 new mobile customers added in the quarter. Overall, the telco added 6,000 customers, the first growth in its consumer base in over 10 years, compared with a decline of 60,000 for the same period last year.
BT Consumer posted a revenue increase of 11% to £1.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) for the quarter, including a 23% increase in broadband and TV revenue. Operating costs increased by 12% thanks to BT’s investment in rights for BT Sport Europe. However, consumer division EBITDA grew by 8% to £250 million.
“BT Consumer had a standout quarter, increasing its overall line base for the first time in well over a decade and capturing 71% of new broadband customers,” said CEO Gavin Patterson. “Good customer growth in broadband, TV and mobile helped to grow ARPU by 7%. Customers like what we’re offering, whether that’s superfast broadband, Champions League football or mobile data bundles. BT Global Services also did well with good revenue growth in continental Europe and Asia.”
The results came as BT completed the acquisition of EE, bringing Deutsche Telekom on board as a shareholder, and announced a new operational structure with EE retaining its brand in a separate division under Marc Allera.