TalkTalk Drops on Fears BT Sport Will Poach Users: London Mover

TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc fell the most in six weeks after Citigroup Inc. analysts said BT Group Plc may be poised to lure broadband customers away from rivals with its free sports programming.

TalkTalk declined 6 percent, the biggest drop since May 9, to 220.9 pence at the close in London. That pared the stock’s gain in 12 months to 34 percent. BT advanced 1 percent today.

Citigroup advised clients to sell TalkTalk shares and buy BT after surveying broadband users about their likelihood of switching to BT’s service when the company’s sport channels go live later this summer. BT Sport is giving subscribers free access to its three channels, which will show sports including premier league soccer and rugby hosted by broadcasting personalities such as Clare Balding and Jake Humphrey, formerly of the British Broadcasting Corp.

“The survey showed that a quarter of households are interested in BT Sport and 13 percent are prepared to switch broadband supplier or pay to get it, on top of those with BT broadband already who can get it for free,” analyst Simon Weeden said in the note.

TalkTalk shares plunged 12 percent on May 9, the day that the BT plan was unveiled. British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, the U.K.’s most popular pay-TV service, fell 6.2 percent that day.

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