BT has hiked prices and scrapped free TV coverage of Premier League and European football

 
Oliver Gill
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FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga
Watching the likes of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play Champions League football is going to cost BT customers from next season (Source: Getty)

Free Champions League and English top flight TV coverage will end from next season as the BT has revealed plans to start charging customers for its BT Sport packages.

The telecoms giant has announced a raft of price increases across its line rental and broadband offerings so customers can enjoy what BT called a "better package and improved service".

BT's share price jumped two per cent in the wake of the news.

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It was previously free to watch 42 of games from England's flagship football league and exclusive footage of the European Champions League for BT's broadband and TV customers.

With competitors charging either a monthly or one-off fee, BT was the final UK-based provider of free coverage.

Splurge

Having splurged £897m in a three-year deal from 2015 for Champions League football to show all 350 fixtures each season and £920m in the latest TV deal for the Premier League, BT will now make its customers pay.

BT stressed the monthly charge is less than half of a day-pass from its rival, Sky-owned Now TV.

On the up: BT's price rises
Broadband up £2.00
Infinity up £2.50
BT TV customers to start paying £3.50 for BT Sport (from next season)
Anytime calls up 49p, to £8.99 a month

Read more: Soaring prices: Sky is next to force customers to pay more

The chief executive of BT Consumer John Petter said:

Customers will get a better package and improved service from us this year in exchange for paying a little more. Millions will have the chance to upgrade to faster broadband and almost a million will be able to upgrade to enjoy unlimited usage for no extra cost.

Frozen

Line rental is set to be frozen – unlike rival Sky which last week accidently revealed plans to increase prices from 1 March.

Also the price of basic packages will not be increased - BT promised to keep its lowest-priced BT Basic package at £5.10 per month for the next three years.

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“We’ve taken care of low income customers by freezing the price of BT Basic and capping call costs. We’ve also frozen line rental, which will particularly help customers who only take a traditional phone service from us,” said Petter.

Let it go: BT's price freeze
Line Rental frozen at £18.99
BT Basic frozen at £5.10 for next three years
BT Basic + Broadband frozen at £9.95
Boxing added to BT Sport, and next Ashes Test cricket
Advanced plans for automatic compensation it "fails on service"

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