BT is changing the digital game by offering a new premium, broadband-based TV channel—available across multiple devices.
On August 1, 2013, one of the most anticipated broadcasting ventures in the world of sport was launched by a telecoms company—BT.
BT’s new offering—BT Sport—is a full multiplatform, premium, broadband-based TV channel available on a wide range of devices—from set top boxes to smartphones—free for BT broadband subscribers.
TV is now as much about broadband as it is about TV, and what were once localized experiments have given way to large-scale disruption. BT Sport is leading the way.
BT is long established as one of the UK’s largest telecom providers, and is in the vanguard of delivering high-speed fiber across the UK. A key strategy for its retail business has been expansion into the television market. BT has a clear understanding that the consumer it now serves has substantially changed from even just a few years ago.
On Web and mobile, BT will augment its broadcasts with interactive programming, information and news that together create the compelling and immersive experience that digital consumers now expect.
That rich content will help BT Sport compete in an increasingly tough game and achieve its stated goal of expanding its broadband base. In short, BT Sport is a premium sports channel without the need for a premium TV subscription.
In the digital era, the consumer feels more empowered, both in terms of what they expect to consume and how they choose to consume it. They have high expectations; with instant access to the content they want, when they want it, on their device of choice very much to the fore.
BT’s new service—BT Sport—aims squarely at meeting those demands. BT has acquired the rights to the live broadcast of 38 Barclays Premier League games each season from 2013 to 2016, along with Aviva Premiership Rugby, WTA and MotoGP from 2014—augmented with BT’s own produced content.
BT Sport is offered as a free service via BT TV and the Web to BT’s 7 million broadband customers and Virgin Media XL customers, as well as being available on a subscription basis through both Sky set top boxes (or free if a BT Broadband customer).
Delivering a complex, multiplatform, live streaming and video-on-demand digital service—to an immovable deadline—is a complex and challenging proposition. Competition for the digital consumer has reached a new level of intensity.
Accenture’s research demonstrates that today’s digital consumer is willing to pay for premium content, but they expect everything about a service to be on their terms, meeting their precise needs. With "super premium" content like live sports on the top of many wish lists, it’s no surprise that BT has chosen Barclays Premier League football as a way to drive additional subscribers to its broadband and communications services.
But realizing the vision of a compelling multiplatform, digital service required finding a provider that could bring together a number of key capabilities—including:
Live digital video broadcasting
Mobile app development
End-to-end video-on-demand supply chain capabilities
In addition, the service provider selected would need to have in-depth industry specialism in the digital space—able to support a high-quality service, with end-to-end capabilities from content encoding to service management and a demonstrated record delivering feature-rich digital services for a project that had a non-negotiable start date.
The ability to drive and orchestrate a wide range of specialist capabilities was essential to support the development and realization of BT’s vision to create a compelling multiplatform offering against the clock.
Following a competitive pitch, BT selected Accenture because we offer integrated, digital specialism across the board using the following capabilities:
Accenture Video Solution
Live Events and Sports Solution
Working with Accenture not only meant that BT avoided the complex and risky challenge of having to manage multiple vendors, but also that they saved valuable management time that would have otherwise been committed to managing different suppliers.
With all the relevant capabilities under one roof, Accenture was able to deliver an end-to-end solution from stream capture to play out, against a very tight timetable.
Accenture was engaged in February and the service was launched in August 1, 2013 for the start of the new Barclays Premier League season.
Accenture and BT have worked together to create a service that offers a wealth of content and a compelling user experience, from the very first kick of the ball at the start of the Barclays Premier League Football 2013/14 season.
BT Sport’s live coverage of the inaugural game drew 764,000 peak viewers, and the BT Sport App passed 1 million downloads within two months of launch. Much of the UK is already equipped to watch BT Sport channels on their TVs—via satellite, BT TV or Virgin Media.
While many of them who have BT Broadband have also downloaded the App, there are hundreds of thousands of homes that watch BT Sport exclusively online.
Delivered to a very tight timetable, BT Sport has already taken its place as a major player in the highly competitive arena of digital entertainment.
Accenture’s ability to integrate all the required capabilities—including digital services, mobility and cloud—and work in deep collaboration with BT underpinned the successful, on-time delivery of BT Sport.
As faster fiber rolls out and increasingly becomes the standard for more and more consumers, the pace of digital evolution will accelerate.
Accenture's Communications, Media and Technology industry practice is at the forefront of all these industry developments and has a deep understanding of the large-scale disruptive technologies that are currently reshaping the world of television and mobile.