U.K.'s BT Signs Up Fewer Pay TV Subscribers in Latest Quarter

bt vision - H 2012

The British telecom giant, which competes with the likes of BSkyB, reported higher pre-tax earnings for the final quarter of 2012.

LONDON -- U.K. telecom giant BT signed up fewer subscribers for its pay TV service, BT Vision, in the final quarter of 2012 than in the year-ago period.

The company, which competes with the likes of U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB, said Friday that it added 21,000 new TV customers in its fiscal third quarter. That was the same number it signed up during its second quarter, but down from 39,000 subscriber additions in the year-ago period.

That brought its total BT Vision subscriber base to more than 770,000 as of the end of 2012. BSkyB had on Thursday reported that it ended 2012 with 10.36 million TV customers after signing up 25,000 traditional pay TV customers.

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BT CEO Ian Livingston said the company's rollout of its fiber network that enables pay TV and broadband services is going well and his team is looking forward to launching a previously announced sports network, which will compete with Sky Sports and ESPN, later this year.

"Our pre-season training is going well," he said. "We have secured attractive new content and world-class production facilities at the Olympic Park and are building a strong team."

On Thursday, BT had announced the hiring of popular sportscaster Clare Balding, who was one of the faces here of the BBC's London 2012 Olympics coverage and Channel 4's Paralympics coverage.

STORY: BBC Olympics Host Gets BT Sports Network Show

BT also reported Friday that it added 122,000 retail broadband subscribers in its fiscal third quarter. Its quarterly pre-tax profit rose 7 percent to $1.07 billion (£675 million) amid lower costs. Revenue declined 6 percent to $7.13 billion (£4.51 billion).

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
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