UK consumers would rather pay more for premium sport content than paying for packages that offer value for money, a new study has found.

Research carried out by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech on the UK’s residential broadband, fixed telephony and pay-TV market revealed that service providers with a strong sports offer were outperforming those offering value-driven packages.

Kantar found that Sky, BT and Virgin Media - all of which offer sports packages at additional cost - all gained market share across the three areas in the last quarter.

However, TalkTalk, a “considerably cheaper option”, saw its own share of the market fall 4.7 percentage points to 13.4 percent in the same period.

Despite the launch of its £11 per month “sports boost” in August, TalkTalk’s failure to offer BT Sport in the run-up to the new football season had a detrimental impact on sales, Kantar explained.

In February, BT and Sky spent billions on broadcasting rights to the upcoming Premier League season, while the former has also coughed up €1 billion for rights to the Champion’s League.

Virgin offers both BT Sports and Sky Sports through its platform.

Imran Choudhary, Consumer Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel, said: “BT has been heavily promoting its newly acquired UEFA European Champions League football content and as a result has seen its market share grow by over 3.8 percentage points compared with the three months before.

“In fact, over a quarter of those customers who joined BT in the last three months cited its sports package as the reason for doing so – higher than any other provider.

“Meanwhile, Sky has grown share by 3.2 percentage points to 30.2 percent thanks to its premier league football content and value-driven Broadband Unlimited package”.

The research also found that TalkTalk suffered from lower customer service ratings and poorer connection speeds than BT, Sky and Virgin Media.

Choudhary said: “With suppliers clamouring to beat each other on value, it’s vital that they continue to present a high quality service if they want to retain customers in the long term.

“Increasingly, consumers are eager to consolidate their services under one provider, so suppliers need to be savvy in how they up-sell their services without compromising on good value and customer satisfaction.”

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