No refunds for BT Sport subscribers as live events postponed

Broadcasters grapple to fill schedules with reruns, films and documentaries

 BT Sport announced on Thursday that its chief executive, Philip Jansen, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BT Sport announced on Thursday that its chief executive, Philip Jansen, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

BT Sport is not offering refunds to subscribers for the lack of live Premier League, Champions League, Bundesliga and other competitions for which they have TV rights, as broadcasters grapple with the mass postponement of sports due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The company is planning to fill its schedules with any live sport which carries on and reruns of matches played this season, WWE films and documentaries. Its position is that as, so far, only two rounds of Premier League matches have been postponed – until April 4th – and Uefa has postponed only next week’s Champions and Europa League matches, it hopes to resume broadcasting live sport before too long.

Sources at the broadcaster have made it clear that the company is not able to refund subscribers for the loss of the live events that BT Sport has bought at great expense. In a statement, a BT spokesman said: “We apologise to customers about the changes to the BT Sport schedule this month due to the impact of Covid-19. The situation is evolving rapidly and we are working with the leagues to continue to broadcast live sport wherever possible and broadcast games when they are rescheduled over the coming months.

“We will continue to broadcast a wide range of BT Sport content including films and documentaries and we will update our customers as we have a clearer view of the remainder of the season.”

The company announced on Thursday that its chief executive, Philip Jansen, has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating. “BT is now working closely with Public Health England to undertake a full deep clean of relevant parts of its group headquarters and will ensure those employees who have had contact with Philip are appropriately advised,” they said.

Jansen said he had met “several industry partners this week, so felt it was the responsible thing to do to alert them to this fact as soon as I could”.

Sky, which has the main rights for the Premier League and EFL, as well as England cricket and other disrupted sports, has not yet set out its position on subscriptions. – Guardian

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