BTwatch
This release
: #298
August 2018: 54pp
Releases/year: 10+
Click for more details of this release

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

BT GROUP: Q1 FY18-19 [p.6]

  • BT takes first steps down a new road
  • Tables 1-2: BT Group financial highlights, Q1 FY18-19
  • Regulatory lead gets a voice with no-nonsense Ross
  • Fibre gets faster and cheaper, but ultrafast demand weak

BT TSO: BT launches second wave of TEAC [p.14]

Table: People movements [p.16]

CONSUMER: BT steps away from sport deals, despite French renewal [p.20]

  • BT TV veteran leading Eleven Sports challenge

Customer service: BT creates 1,000 new customer service roles in UK [p.22]

Network: MBNL extends Ericsson network development role, again [p.24]

  • Clean sweep for EE in RootMetrics' network tests
  • Table: RootMetrics network testing results

Suppliers: Telestream flags key OTT role for BT TV [p.26]

ENTERPRISE: Enterprise crew named [p.29]

  • Table: BT Enterprise Management team

Contracts: Stobart awards BT IoT deal [p.31]

GLOBAL SERVICES: BT has three more blockchain patents pending [p.33]

Partners: BT talks up Cisco partnership for Americas and beyond [p.35]

  • BT, Cisco and co team for educational SD-WAN promos

Products and services: BT launches into direct routing with Microsoft Teams [p.39]

Security: BT opens new Cyber SOC in India [p.40]

  • Wind River role in Huawei security doubts

OPENREACH

Digital Voice: New BT lab opens to prepare for PSTN switch off [p.44]

  • IP voice taking its time to arrive

Fibre: Openreach G.fast slimdown precursor to a full-fibre diet? [p.43]

  • Openreach may be taking one step back to make room for a leap forward

FURTHER READING

A

Advertising Standards Authority 45

Alphabet

- Google

-- Android 27

-- Chromecast 20, 27

-- YouTube 20

Amazon 17, 21, 27

Apple 20, 27

Apstra 15

Atos 34

AT&T 13, 34

B

BAE Systems 16

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 27, 50

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 10

BT Group 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30, 33, 34, 44, 49

- BT Centre 11

- BT Consumer 16, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 45, 50

-- BT Infinity 10, 15

-- BT Mobile 16

-- BT TV 8, 20, 21, 26, 27, 50

-- BT Wi-Fi 13

-- Plusnet 16, 23

- BT Enterprise

-- BT Business & Public Sector 29, 30

-- BT Ireland 29

-- BT SME 10

-- BT Wholesale & Ventures 30, 31

- BT Global Services 6, 7, 8, 9, 32, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 42, 51

-- BT Connect 35

-- BT Italia 13, 37, 51

-- BT Security 40, 41

- BT Pension Scheme 7

- BT Technology, Service and Operations 14, 49

-- Adastral Park 41

-- Azure 9

- BT Tower 11, 14

- EE 16, 20, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 50

-- 4G Calling 25

-- Emergency Services Network 27

-- MBNL 24, 50

- Executives

-- Allera, Marc 9, 16, 20, 22, 27

-- Baulch, Philip 30

-- Best, Steve 30

-- Brandt, Etienne 16

-- Cackett, Rich 16

-- Comley, Adrian 36

-- Cook, Mike 30

-- Droy-Whelan, Keighly 30

-- Emerson, Sarah 16

-- Hale, Nick 30

-- Harvey, Peter 26

-- Hendricks, Mark 29

-- Holtom, Rob 16

-- Hughes, Mark 41, 51

-- Hunt, Priya 16

-- Langlands, Jeff 30

-- Leather, David 16

-- Maltarp, Damien 29

-- McNulty, Kevin 13

-- McQuade, Gerry 10, 29

-- McRae, Neil 36

-- Oliver, Pete 16

-- Patterson, Gavin 6, 13, 17, 41

-- Pollock, Tara 30

-- Roots, Ash 16

-- Sabey, Jim 35

-- Selley, Clive 12, 48

-- Shaw, Tim 30

-- Sims, Chris 30, 31

--Summerfield, Andy 29

-- Taylor, Christopher 16

-- Tempest, Alex 29

-- Tomlinson, Mike 29

-- Watson, Howard 15, 44

-- Watson, Marc 21, 50

-- Wilson, Trafford 30

- Ex-executives

-- Bushell, Delia 21

-- Chanmugam, Tony 13

-- Cimini, Gianluca 37

-- Livingston, Ian 13

-- Taylor, Max 16

-- Truzzoli, Stefania 37

- Openreach 8, 10, 11, 12, 16, 22, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51

C

Capgemini 34

Cisco Systems, Inc. 9, 35, 36, 51

CityFibre 45, 48

CK Hutchison

- Three Group

-- Three UK 24, 25

Claranet 34

Cobalt 37

Comcast 27

Computacenter 34

Credit Suisse 34

Cushman & Wakefield 11

D

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS, UK)

- Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) 10

Deutsche Telekom 15

- T-Systems 34

Dixons Carphone 16

E

Eleven Sports Network 21

Equinix 34

Ericsson 24, 50

European Union 15

F

Facebook 14, 15, 21, 49

FON 13

Football Association

- Premier League 17, 20, 23

Fujitsu 34

G

Gartner Group 39

Gigaclear 48

Goldman Sachs 48

Google 20

H

HCL 34

High Court 23

Home Office (UK) 10

Huawei Technologies 41, 51

Hyperoptic 48, 51

I

IBM 34, 51

Information Services Group 34, 51

InfoVista

- Ipanema Technologies 36

ING Bank NV 48

Intel 36

Interxion 34

K

KETS Quantum 14

L

Liberty Global

- Virgin Media 13, 23

-- Virgin Mobile 13

Liberty Media

- DIRECTV Group, Inc., The 27

LinkedIn 30

LiveAction 36

Lloyds Banking Group 16

M

M&G Prudential 48

Microsoft 9, 10, 39, 51

- Skype 39

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) 24, 50

N

National Health Service (NHS, UK) 34

Nokia 10

- Nuage Networks 36

O

Ofcom 11, 48

Omnicom Group

- Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO 23

Orange 15

Q

Qumu 34

R

Riverbed Technology 36

RootMetrics 24, 25, 50

Royal KPN 13

S

Samsung 27

Securities and Exchange Commission 37

SK Telecom 15

Spencer Stuart 17

Stobart Group 31

Sun Global Broadband 42

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group 23, 29, 48

Tata Group

- Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) 34

Tech City 15

TechHub 10, 15

Tech Mahindra 41

Technology

- 2G 25

- 3G 25

- 5G 13, 15

- Blockchain 33, 34, 37, 51

- Broadband 8, 10, 23, 45, 46, 51

- Fibre 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 22, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51

- Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) 12, 46, 47, 48

- G.fast 12, 46, 47, 51

- Internet of Things 31

- IP 14, 23, 44, 45

- IPTV 23

- LTE 25

- Open source 23

- OTT 26, 50

- PSTN 44

- SIP 39

- Unified Communications 39

- Video-on-demand 26

- VoD 26

- Wi-Fi 13, 25, 42, 51

Telecom Infra Project 14, 49

- TEAC 14, 15

Telefónica 25

- O2 UK 25

Telestream 26, 27, 50

Time Warner Inc. 27

Twitter 20

U

UEFA 20

- Champions League 20

Ultimate Fighting Championship 21

United Nations 10

Unmanned Life 14

V

Vodafone 25, 34, 37, 48, 50

- UK 25

W

Wind River Systems 41

Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) 51

WPP 23

Z

Zeetta Networks 14

  • Allera makes it clear he won’t deal in rights at any price.
  • Former BT TV chief may have a role to play in building BT’s super-aggregator play.

In August 2018, BT Consumer agreed an extended deal to broadcast matches from France’s Ligue 1 soccer league and the country’s main cup tournament. The agreement will see BT Sport remain the exclusive UK partner for the league until 2021. Despite this latest deal, however, BT has increasingly shown signs of changing its sports rights bidding practices since Marc Allera has taken control of the integrated Consumer and EE business.

While the UEFA Champions League and a reasonably modest Premier League deal have been undertaken on his watch, he now appears to have drawn a line on spending on other sports.

This has seen BT walking away from bidding for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts events (although it has remained in boxing broadcasting – BTwatch, #296), and it also appears to have been outbid for Italian soccer rights. It was further reported that BT had declined to bid for US National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball rights.

This seems to fit with the Allera-favoured super-aggregator approach, which entails BT partnering with other content owners to enable carriage of their channels on the BT TV platform. While owning sports rights has only barely covered its costs, the merits of and demand for the new platform approach are unproven.

The prospects for what are effectively rights intermediaries appears to be growing in the market, with streaming services owning content but not always having a suitably robust and widespread platform over which to offer them. This seems to play into BT’s approach, and may see the telco entering talks with streaming challenger Eleven Sports Network.

BT TV veteran leading Eleven Sports challenge

Eleven Sports Network has already secured US-based golfing tournaments, as well as UK soccer rights for Italy’s Serie A (pinched from BT) and Spain’s La Liga (formerly a Sky property). The emerging sports broadcaster is also rumoured to be a potential home of the NBA and UFC events that BT is letting go.

Eleven Sports is led by Chief Executive (CEO) Marc Watson, who spent eight years working on the development of pay-TV at BT, before leaving the company in 2014 when he was subsequently replaced as CEO of BT TV by Delia Bushell (BTwatch, #253 and #254).

Talking about the growing interest of internet companies in sports broadcasting in late-2017, Watson stressed the importance of collaboration, and a willingness to make Eleven Sports’ content available across different platforms. This may suggest the BT TV platform will soon be carrying the streamed services of the upstart broadcaster.

“Everyone has their own business to protect and grow, and their own strategy for doing so… The key for us is to reach our fans and our customers wherever they want to be, and if they happen to want to consume our content via another platform – whether it be an Amazon or another platform – then I think it’s our job to make sure that they can do so. That is what we’re focused on.” – Watson.

Early signs are that Eleven Sports may need a more robust platform partner. The company currently offers £5.99-per-month subscriptions for streamed access on mobile devices and via its website. The broadcaster is also promising to provide a free-to-access livestream on its Facebook page of one soccer match a week as well as other live events.

However, the service has seen significant teething troubles with criticism of the quality of coverage, and the quality of the broadcast itself. A particularly embarrassing early problem was the crash of Eleven Sports’ website during the live stream at the conclusion of the US PGA golf major, which was the first high-profile event featured on the service.

Image: BT

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