BT Sport signs up half a million customers in less than a month

BT customers are making fewer phone calls, but profits are up as half a million people sign up to BT Sport.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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More than half a million people signed have up to BT Sport in just a few weeks. Along with a rise in customers making the most of extra-fast fibre broadband connections, BT telly services -- including YouView -- balanced out the fact that customers are making fewer phone calls.

All told, BT's profit rose by 4 per cent to £385m between April and June this year.

BT's extra-fast fibre broadband is on the rise too. 1.7m homes and businesses have signed up, although that's still a fraction of the 16 million UK premises that now have fibre to the curb (FTTC) connections.

Fast fibre 

FTTC is different to fibre to the premises, (FTTP), which sees a fibre connection go into or near the building where the customer lives or works. With FTTC, the fibre connection goes to somewhere within 300m of the customer, then regular cable splits the connection between several end customers.

BT broadband added 97,000 customers in the last three months. When you factor in existing customers upgrading, 197,000 people either signed up for or switched to BT Infinity.

In total, BT now has 6.8m broadband customers.

That number is set to increase after the announcement of new BT Sport channels. In a bitter battle with Sky Sports, BT Sport channels -- which will show 38 live Premier League games each year -- are free to people signing up to BT broadband. 500,000 homes have already signed up since the announcement in early May.

TV and YouView

Speaking of TV, 23,000 customers adopted BT's TV services, taking the total number of BT users to 833,000.

BT refuses to reveal how many of those are signed up to YouView, the online-connected set-top box that puts catch-up services from the likes of the BBC iPlayer , 4OD and Dave. Yesterday TalkTalk revealed it signed up 160,000 new YouViewers in the same period, suggesting TalkTalk is giving out a lot more YouView boxes than BT.

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