New research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech on the home services market – covering broadband, fixed landline and paid television – has revealed that premium sports content is still a major draw for consumers, despite the market being awash with value-driven propositions.
The data, for the three months ending 30 September, shows Sky, BT and Virgin Media all gaining a share in overall market sales on the last quarter thanks to their strong sports offer, at the expense of TalkTalk, a considerably cheaper option.
Imran Choudhary, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, commented: “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 per cent thanks to its premier league football content and value-driven Broadband Unlimited package, which offers 12 months free broadband.”
Offering both BT Sports and Sky Sports through its platform, Virgin Media’s market share has grown by over 1.8 percentage points in the past quarter. Alongside their popular sports packages, all three of the major players have also increased either the length or strength of their broadband discounts in the last quarter. While TalkTalk launched its £11-per-month sports boost earlier this August, the lack of BT Sports as part of this has hampered its share growth in the run up to the new football season, and its overall share is down by 4.7 percentage points on last quarter.
Sky showed a strong performance in fixed broadband, with market share in this area jumping by almost ten percentage points to 27.1%, just behind BT on 27.9 per cent. While TalkTalk’s free broadband package was an enticing proposition, its share of broadband and landline sales fell by 7.1 and 4.9 percentage points respectively as consumers headed for stronger dual or triple play packages elsewhere. The research also found that TalkTalk has suffered from lower customer service ratings and poorer perceived connection speeds than all three major competitors.
Imran Choudhary continues: “Nine per cent of consumers who currently use a home service have stated that they will change their provider at the next available opportunity, with 26 per cent of those currently on a dual play package wanting to move to a triple play offer. 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.”