Mike Perry vs Paul Felder in a UFC match

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BT will proceed to broadcast UFC till three December

BT is known to have misplaced the rights to broadcast NBA basketball and UFC final preventing after strolling away from a bidding contest.

“We cannot bid any greater than the rights are price to us,” a spokesperson for the telecoms big advised the BBC.

The transfer comes weeks after BT misplaced the rights to Italian Serie A soccer.

The agency spends round £1bn a 12 months on sports activities rights, similar to Premier League and Champions League soccer, a sum which some buyers have criticised.

BT’s sports activities channels will proceed to point out NBA Basketball till the top of October and UFC till three December.

  • BT boss Gavin Patterson to step down
  • Eleven Sports activities win Serie A rights

The loss means BT’s sport channels will present fewer well-liked sports activities, however the agency’s spokesperson mentioned it was specializing in gaining extra subscribers for its providing in addition to “investing in additional broadcast improvements.”

They mentioned the agency had “long-term offers in place for our core content material” together with “nice soccer, rugby and boxing subsequent season”.

Marc Allera, head of BT Client, advised the Monetary Instances that the technique for BT Sport – which launched 5 years in the past – had moved on from its preliminary “emotionally pushed start-up mentality”.

“It is like a giant soccer membership within the switch window. If a striker is price £50m I will not pay £70m for him. On the unsuitable worth, all the things is expendable,” he mentioned.

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Mr Patterson led BT for 14 years earlier than stepping down final month

Shareholders have been agitated for a while about the price and route of BT Sport, one thing which partially led to the departure of chief govt Gavin Patterson final month.

Mr Patterson led BT for 14 years and beneath his route the agency established itself as a significant sports activities broadcaster, with the rights to display a major variety of Premier League video games.

However the agency was criticised for spending cash on this method, and never on enhancing each the breadth and velocity of its broadband protection.

Final month, Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for Markets.com, mentioned BT’s “costly transfer into soccer rights was a mistake”, as a result of it had didn’t result in an increase in new subscribers for the agency’s TV providing.


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