BT Sports controversy: The financial breakdown

British Telecom has denied that the hefty price increase for phone and broadband services is a result of its expensive BT Sport channels launch.

The company is raising the cost of home phone and broadband packages by 6.5% for its 10 million customers on the 4th of January 2014.

The move was detailed in BT’s annual review, and has caused uproar due to its supposed ties to the ambitious BT Sports launch.

‘Every customer will be affected by this,’ confessed a BT spokesman.

Where others fear to tread

The creation of the service – which has won the rights to broadcast 38 Premier League football games over the next three years – has reportedly cost the company around £1 billion.

BT has taken over areas of the Olympic Park in London and has moved into the associated media centre. The company is also rumoured to have spent millions of pounds on famous sports pundits – with presenter Clare Balding and world’s most expensive footballer, Gareth Bale, already confirmed.

Treading where ESPN, Setanta and ITV Digital have all failed, the move into sports TV is aiming to take on the industry leader – Sky Sports.

BT has stated the sports service will be free for BT Broadband customers, and claims one million interested parties have already joined.

Financial breakdown

In addition to the monthly package increase of 6.5%, penalty fees for terminating a contract early are due to rise by up to 30%, and the Speaking Clock service will also go up by 6.3%.

Line rental – paid in addition to any phone or broadband services – will rise by 54p to £15.99 (a 3.5% increase).

Lastly, the historically free BT Answer 1571 and caller display (a part of BT Privacy) will soon cost £1.75 a month.

Defending the hikes, a BT spokesman has stated: “BT will be updating some of its prices from January 2014, following a summer in which we slashed the price of our entry level broadband for new customers by up to 12%.”

“Our customers have seen their calls bills fall by 14% on average in the last five years as a result of us slashing the price of inclusive calls plans. We want customers to move on to those plans as they can save money. Hopefully these changes will encourage that.”

The news comes on the back of MPs accusing BT of ripping off taxpayers over its rural broadband service.

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