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BT sees TV subscriber numbers fall

The number of customers subscribing to BT's TV service has fallen back, despite the lure of BT Sport.

Buried several pages within BT's latest results, which were released today, the company confirms a drop back to 1.74 million TV subscribers, down 16,000 and wiping out the 14,000 gain previously made in the previous reporting period.

According to the company, BT Sport continued to deliver strong viewing figures across all platforms in the last quarter, up 19% year on year. Performance was driven by the conclusion to England’s cricket tour of Australia, the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League. BT says that all BT Sport customers are now on a paid tariff.

BT TV's flatlining and slight decline reflects strong competition in the sector, particularly as many users can now easily add many of the channels and on-demand portals that BT offers via a range of rolling monthly subscription services, available on a variety of streaming sticks.

BT's television service offers a relatively small range of mostly basic-tier pay TV channels, which are piggybacked onto the existing Freeview service. Its latest pay TV channel addition, CNN, is available free-to-air on satellite. BT TV subscribers currently do not have access to the full set of Sky pay TV channels, although this is due to change in the next year, following a deal made between the two companies.