It’s the back of the net for BT Sport

In autumn last year we signed a deal with BT to deploy PayWizard Enterprise as middleware to enable the brand new BT Sport channels on BSkyB’s DSAT platform. We integrated BT’s subscriber management system (SMS) with Sky’s conditional access (CA) to allow Sky customers, around the UK and Ireland, to buy and watch BT Sport through their existing set-top box. The solution went live in May and since then the service has proved hugely successful. To date, BT Sports has 2 million customers* subscribing to its sports channels.

As Pay TV services like BT Sport launch, they are faced with a buy vs build decision. BT knew it had 2 choices – it could either perform the integration itself or use an expert vendor like PayWizard to do the job for them. BT understood that there was a huge business risk attached to doing it themselves due to short planning and delivery times. We had previously supported the broadcaster with a similar project, so we were the ideal choice to help with BT Sport. Our reliable and flexible software coupled with our in-depth knowledge would be a safe and far less risky option for BT – not only as we are specialists in CA integration but for 15 years we have been managing high volume live sports events providing a robust scalable solution with quick time to market.

Our heritage in managing broadcast channels on Sky DSAT meant we were the obvious choice of partner for BT. We operated a very similar service for 9 years on terrestrial with Top Up TV and for BT, it was simply a case of integrating our own established Sky CA interface as a sub-system into their BSS and OSS infrastructure. This meant we could significantly reduce BT’s exposure to risk, time-to-market and consequently, costs. BT is operating a complex project and with our phased approach, we delivered just what they needed to make the integration a real success.

Today we are actually seeing an increased demand for these types of services from our customers. The market is maturing and as companies make the move from SMS 1.0 to 2.0, they need their deployments to be solid- and they need an infrastructure that can manage and support this. Our specialist knowledge means we can increase stability, develop data depositories and market more effectively, supporting companies as they evolve to deliver more robust and complete service offerings.

We are very pleased to have helped BT with its engagement on DSAT and to see the service operating so well and running smoothly. We hope to continue working with BT as they look to the future of multiple platforms and multiple devices.

Jamie Mackinlay, Commercial Director