Premier League opener attracts 764,000 despite BT Sport technical fail

BT Sport's broadcast of the Liverpool vs Stoke City game on Saturday drew a bigger audience than when ESPN screened the opening match last season - but sadly some fans will have missed it.

As the English Premier League got underway this weekend, more than 700,000 fans with BT Sport were able to witness Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge score the first goal of the season, securing his team a 1-0 victory over Stoke City.

BT Sport's audience of 764,000 compares relatively well against established rival Sky Sports, which attracted 3.1 million for Swansea City's clash with Manchester United. It also beat viewing figures for last season's opening game, when 713,000 tuned in to ESPN.

Unfortunately, those watching on smartphones and tablets - streaming the match with BT Sport's mobile app - might have missed the all-important 37th minute goal, as a technical problem caused the app to stop working shortly after kick-off.

BT apologised for "temporary" issues, which it said only affected "a minority" of users.

A spokesperson added: "Our team responded quickly and were able to make a difference so most of the customers who were experiencing problems were able to enjoy the second half."

The BT Sport app, which can be used on Wi-Fi as well as 3G or 4G mobile internet, is available for Apple iPhone and iPad, and a selection of Android smartphones and tablets and is free for all BT broadband customers with BT Sport.

New customers get BT Sport automatically - it's now included with all BT broadband packages - while existing customers need to contact the provider and sign up for an extra 12 months of broadband.

It seems the best way to watch BT Sport, avoiding the risk of missing any Premier League goals as a result of network or software issues, is to tune in to BT Sport on television.

To watch the TV channels - BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN - a BT Vision+ or YouView box is required. Otherwise BT broadband customers with BT Sport are limited to streaming it online, via a player on the BT Sport website, or the so far unreliable BT Sport app.

Sky TV customers can also watch BT Sport free of charge if they take BT broadband, otherwise it will cost them an extra £12 per month, or £15 to receive the channels in high-definition (HD).

Virgin Media's TV XL package allows customers to watch BT Sport on the telly at no extra cost. Other customers either need to upgrade to TV XL or pay £15 per month on top of their current bundle.

The next Premier League match to be broadcast on BT Sport will be Fulham vs Arsenal, kicking off at 12.45pm on Saturday 24 August, 2013.

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