The new broadcaster, which snapped up the rights to 38 live English Premier League matches a season for three years last June and added ESPN’s UK and Ireland business, which includes the rights to 30 live SPL games, earlier this year, has yet to confirm exactly how many channels it will launch and when they will go ‘live’. But it said they will be on air in time for the first game of the new season, which begins in August.
BT Sport’s package will include 38 live Barclays Premier League matches, including 18 ‘top picks’, 30 live SPL fixtures, ten Rangers games, FA Cup matches and action from the Europa League and German Bundesliga; it will also cover Aviva Premiership and Top 14 rugby and 21 Women’s Tennis Association tournaments.
Jake Humphrey will front BT’s Barclays Premier League coverage, while former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio has been signed as BT Sport’s lead rugby union expert, Claire Balding is to front her own sports chat show and Spurs’ Gareth Bale is a BT ‘ambassador’.
Speaking to SLTN last week, Bruce Cuthbert, director Commercial Customers at BT Sport, said he was unable to confirm at this stage how much a monthly subscription will cost licensees. But he said the new sports package will be “competitively priced” and based on rateable value.
He also confirmed the channels will be sold directly by BT and available through Sky’s satellite platform. Licensees can pre-register at bt.com/btsportbusiness.
“The good news for pubs is that if you have a satellite system in place, it’s very easy to add BT Sport,” he said.