BT Sport

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BT Sport
BT Sport logo
Launched1 August 2013
Owned byBT Group
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share0.2% (1)
~0.0% (2) (October 2013 (2013-10), BARB)
SloganGreat Sport Happens Here
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Ireland
HeadquartersQueen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
ReplacedSailing 1
Sailing 2
Sister channel(s)ESPN
Websitesport.bt.com
Availability
Terrestrial
BTChannel 58 (1)
Channel 59 (2)
Satellite
SkyChannel 413 (1 SD/HD)
Channel 414 (2 SD/HD)
Channel 426 (1 SD)
Channel 427 (2 SD)
Cable
Virgin MediaChannel 547 (1)
Channel 548 (2)
Channel 549 (1 HD)
Channel 550 (2 HD)
UPC IrelandChannel 409 (1)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 439 (1 HD)
Channel 440 (2 HD)
IPTV
BTChannel 507 (1)
Channel 508 (2)
Channel 510 (1 HD)
Channel 511 (2 HD)
Streaming media
BT Sport PlayerWatch live (1, UK only)
Watch live (2, UK only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (1, UK only)
Watch live (2, UK only)
 
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BT Sport
BT Sport logo
Launched1 August 2013
Owned byBT Group
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share0.2% (1)
~0.0% (2) (October 2013 (2013-10), BARB)
SloganGreat Sport Happens Here
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Ireland
HeadquartersQueen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
ReplacedSailing 1
Sailing 2
Sister channel(s)ESPN
Websitesport.bt.com
Availability
Terrestrial
BTChannel 58 (1)
Channel 59 (2)
Satellite
SkyChannel 413 (1 SD/HD)
Channel 414 (2 SD/HD)
Channel 426 (1 SD)
Channel 427 (2 SD)
Cable
Virgin MediaChannel 547 (1)
Channel 548 (2)
Channel 549 (1 HD)
Channel 550 (2 HD)
UPC IrelandChannel 409 (1)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 439 (1 HD)
Channel 440 (2 HD)
IPTV
BTChannel 507 (1)
Channel 508 (2)
Channel 510 (1 HD)
Channel 511 (2 HD)
Streaming media
BT Sport PlayerWatch live (1, UK only)
Watch live (2, UK only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (1, UK only)
Watch live (2, UK only)

BT Sport is a group of sports television channels in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, owned by BT Retail part of BT Group, which launched on 1 August 2013. The channels are based at the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.[1][2] BT Sport is available on the BT TV, Sky and Virgin Media television platforms in the UK, and also for UPC Ireland in the Republic of Ireland.

BT Sport holds exclusive live UK TV rights to top pick Premier League as well as exclusive or shared rights to the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League, Scottish League, Conference, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 football matches. They also hold the exclusive UK TV rights to Moto GP, The FA Community Shield, The FA Trophy, Aviva Premiership Rugby and all European club rugby from 2014 and from 2015 BT Sport will have the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League.

Plans for the channels' launch came about when it was announced in June 2012 that the broadcast rights to the Premier League from the 2013–14 to 2015–16 season were awarded to BT and BSkyB, outbidding current broadcaster ESPN for the rights.[3] On 25 February 2013, BT announced that it had acquired ESPN's UK channels and their sports broadcasting rights.[4] The deal closed on 31 July 2013, when BT continued to operate ESPN as part of BT Sport.

Availability[edit]

On 2 May 2013, BT Sport 1 and 2 were added to the BT Vision EPG, followed by Sky the next day along with an on-screen message that the channel was coming soon. On Sky, the channels replaced BT's placeholders, Sailing 1 and 2.[5] The BT owned terrestrial feeds of Sky Sports 1 and 2, which were also used for Top Up TV, were dropped on 1 July in favour of BT Sport 1 and 2.[6] The terrestrial feeds are only available to BT TV subscribers in non-BT Infinity enabled areas. BT signed a wholesale deal with Virgin Media on 15 August bringing the channels free of charge to customers in the TV XL package.[7] BT are also currently in negotiations with TalkTalk regarding a wholesale carriage deal for BT Sport.[citation needed]

BT Sport is also offered online, via the BT Sport online player and a mobile app.[8] BT Sport is also offered for free to BT's broadband subscribers.

In Ireland BT Sport is bundled with Setanta Sports subscriptions.[9][10]

Programming[edit]

Plans for the channels launch came about when it was announced in June 2012 that the broadcast rights to the Premier League from the 2013–14 to 2015–16 season were awarded to BT and BSkyB, outbidding current broadcaster ESPN for the rights.[3] BT will show 38 live matches from the Premier League each season, including 18 first pick matches.

In October 2012 BT announced it had also agreed deals to air Serie A, Ligue 1, Brasileirão and Major League Soccer, all of which were previously broadcast on ESPN,[11] as well as Premiership Rugby.[12] In January 2013 BT announced they will also broadcast Women's Tennis Association matches from 21 tournaments.[13]

On 25 February 2013, BT announced that it had acquired ESPN's UK channels and their sports broadcasting rights, including rights to the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premier League, Bundesliga and NASCAR.[4] This led to the shutting down of ESPN Classic and ESPN America in favour of the BT Sport channels.

Former BBC Sport presenter Jake Humphrey presents their Premier League coverage.[14] Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman and David James serve as pundits. Ian Darke and Darren Fletcher commentate alongside Michael Owen (co-commentator) and Mark Halsey - who offers views as a former referee. Rio Ferdinand also acts as an interviewer, programme-maker and football expert. Ray Stubbs serves as chief football reporter.[15] Darrell Currie presents live Scottish football with Derek Rae and Gary McAllister as lead commentator and co-commentator, respectively. Stephen Craigan and Emma Dodds complete the Scottish football coverage line-up. Danny Baker was announced as part of BT Sport's football coverage, hosting a Friday evening show with Danny Kelly.[16] Helen Skelton presents the live coverage of the FA WSL & Football Conference along with Mark Clemmit

Paul Dempsey is being linked with hosting BT's foreign football coverage,[17] while James Richardson hosts Sunday Night Football, covering live European football and reviewing the action and discussing the news from the continent with a panel of experts.

Craig Doyle presents Premiership Rugby coverage, with Martin Bayfield and Sarra Elgan as match reporters. Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn commentate, with former England internationals Lawrence Dallaglio, Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Matt Dawson sharing co-commentary and punditry duties.[15][18] The team also present Rugby Tonight on Wednesday evenings - a mid-week evening show offering rugby analysis, debate and lively entertainment. BT's Top 14 coverage is presented by Jill Douglas, with commentary from Martin Gillingham.

WTA coverage is presented by Lynsey Hipgrave and Martina Navratilova, with Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn as commentators.[15]

Clare Balding hosts a weekly sports talk show The Clare Balding Show assisted by Christian Howes,[19] Tim Lovejoy hosts BTSP (BT Sports Panel) - a Saturday morning sports magazine show with Matt Dawson and Christian Howes - and journalist Des Kelly presents magazine programme Life’s a Pitch.[15] BT Sport Live is the nightly news, debate and information show from BT Sport bringing viewers the latest news and debate from the world of sport. Broadcast live from the new BT Sport studio, the show reviews the best action and sporting news of the past 24 hours and looks ahead to the upcoming line-up on BT Sport. The show features news reports and reaction from around the UK and beyond. Neil Warnock will be a regular contributor with Fletcher, Vassos Alexander, Lynsey Hipgrave and Caroline de Moraes part of the reporting team.

On 7 May 2013, BT Sport acquired the rights to air Ultimate Fighting Championship events and taped programming in the UK and Ireland for three years, from 1 August.[20] Two days later it was announced that BT Sport had acquired an exclusive five-year deal to broadcast MotoGP races from the 2014 season, including free practices and qualifying as well as full coverage of Moto2 and Moto3.[21] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[6][15]

Later in May BT Sport acquired rights to the Football Conference for two years with 25-30 live games a season, including the end-of-season play offs. The coverage takes viewers behind-the-scenes of non-league football. Mark Clemment is the main host along with Helen Skelton who presents little segment and reports. The main pundits are Mark Craighton, Martin Allen & Neil Warnock. Steve Bower commentates and when available the Accrington Stanley Manager James Beatie is co-commentator. Neil Warnock will fill and pundits associated with the home clubs commentate from time to time. [22]

BT Sport also broadcasts England's under-21 side and the first match shown was the friendly against Scotland under-21s on 13 August 2013.

On 9 November 2013, BT announced a £897 million deal with UEFA to broadcast the Champions League and Europa League exclusively on BT Sport from the 2015–16 season for three years. The deal will end two decades of the competition being broadcast free-to-air on ITV, although BT stated that the finals of both competitions and at least one match per season involving each participating British team would still be broadcast free-to-air.[23]

Live Premier League fixtures[edit]

The following is the list of Premier League fixtures that BT Sport has picked for live broadcasting. All live matches broadcast on BT Sport kickoff at 12:45 on a Saturday unless otherwise stated.

DateKick offMatchViewing figures[24]
17 August 201312:45Liverpool v Stoke City451,000
24 August 201312:45Fulham v Arsenal413,000
31 August 201312:45Manchester City v Hull City303,000
14 September 201312:45Manchester United v Crystal Palace485,000
21 September 201312:45Norwich City v Aston Villa281,000
28 September 201312:45Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea443,000
5 October 201312:45Manchester City v Everton377,000
19 October 201312:45Newcastle United v Liverpool496,000
26 October 201312:45Crystal Palace v Arsenal611,000
2 November 201312:45Newcastle United v Chelsea432,000
23 November 201312:45Everton v Liverpool448,000
1 December 201312:00Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United618,000
3 December 201320:00Crystal Palace v West Ham United251,000
4 December 201319:45Swansea City v Newcastle United286,000
7 December 201312:45Manchester United v Newcastle United607,000
14 December 201312:45Manchester City v Arsenal683,000
21 December 201312:45Liverpool v Cardiff City
26 December 201315:00West Ham United v Arsenal
26 December 201317:30Manchester City v Liverpool
1 January 201415:00Southampton v Chelsea
1 January 201417:30Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
11 January 201412:45Hull City v Chelsea
18 January 201412:45Sunderland v Southampton
28 January 201420:00Liverpool v Everton
29 January 201419:45Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
1 February 201412:45West Ham United v Swansea City
8 February 201412:45Liverpool v Arsenal
11 February 201419:45Cardiff City v Aston Villa
12 February 201419:45Arsenal v Manchester United
22 February 201412:45Chelsea v Everton

    : Match that isn't a Saturday, 12:45 kick off

Note: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United was switched from 30 November due to the home team's Europa League commitments.

Sports rights[edit]

Here is a list of the major sports rights BT Sport has announced to date.[25]

Football:

Rugby Union:

Other Sports:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BT Sport to make iCity and the Olympic Broadcast Centre its production home" (Press release). BT Group. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Inside BT Sport's 'inner sanctum'... the multi-million pound TV studio (with its own football pitch) that will look to give Sky a run for its money". Daily Mail. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Premier League rights sold to BT and BSkyB for £3bn". BBC News. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "BT Group acquires ESPN’s UK and Ireland television channels business" (Press release). BT Group. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "BT bags two Sky EPG slots for sports channels". Cable.co.uk. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "BT Sport goes free". Broadband TV News. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "BT and Virgin Media sign wholesale BT Sport deal". BT Group. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  8. ^ "BT Sport free for millions of homes" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Hancock, Ciaran (2013-06-22). "Setanta to net deal with BT to offer more live Premier League games in Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  10. ^ "Setanta Sports adds BT Sport to its line-up". BT. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  11. ^ "BT signs four more live match deals with top football leagues" (Press release). BT Group. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "BT poaches Premiership Rugby rights from ESPN, Sky". Digital Spy. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "BT Sport broadens appeal as it signs live women’s tennis with WTA agreement" (Press release). BT Group. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jake Humphrey to be the face of BT’s Premier League Football" (Press release). BT Group. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "BT Sport unveils line-up of sporting talent" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "BT Sport to reunite Danny Baker and Danny Kelly for football show". The Guardian. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Sale, Charles (2013-05-23). "United chief Gill's seat at European football's could lead to FIFA job". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  18. ^ "BT Sport sign England legend Lawrence Dallaglio to be lead rugby expert". BT Group. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Clare Balding to front her own sports chatshow on BT Sport" (Press release). BT Group. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) confirms BT Sport deal". Seen It. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "BT Sport to bring MotoGP™ to British audiences from 2014". MotoGP. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "BT Sport 'signs £300k Football Conference broadcasting deal'". Cable.co.uk. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  23. ^ "Champions League: BT Sport win £897m football rights deal". BBC Sport. 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  24. ^ "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  25. ^ "What American sports will BT Sport show?". BT. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

External links[edit]