East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has used a Parliamentary motion to criticise BT for boosting the finances of Europe’s richest football clubs through a £1.18 billion deal to screen Champions League football whilst imposing price rises on telephone and internet customers.
He said, “The Champions League is one the richest sporting event in the world, dominated by some of the richest Clubs in the world. Within the last few days BT outbid rival broadcaster Sky to retain the rights to broadcast Champions League matches until 2021 at a cost of nearly £1.2billion, nearly one third more than was paid last time.
The cost of BT’s pursuit of increased share within the TV market is not only huge, but is funded not just by those who subscribe to their television packages. It is being passed on to those paying for telephone and internet services. BT’s dominance in the home phone market means their price increase affect 10 million customers across the UK.
There are many people who will say the gulf between the richest football clubs and the rest does nothing for football, but the pursuit of broadcasting deals is also doing nothing for millions of hard pressed customers who are paying for the relentlessly increasing costs of broadcasting this competition.”
The text of the motion is below:
“That this House notes the recent announcement by BT Sport of a further three year contract to screen Champions League football at a total cost of £1.18 billion, at the same time as increasing telephone and broadband service charges by approximately five per cent for around ten million customers; and expresses concern that this will further boost the finances of EUFA and the richest clubs in Europe while penalising already hard pressed customers as a result.”