What is BT Sport? 

Latest news stories for BT SportBT Sport is the name for BT’s new sports broadcasting arm, which will showcase three new sports channels from the Olympic Park Broadcast Centre in Stratford, London. 

Launching in Summer 2013, BT Sport will bring channels dedicated to football, rugby and more, and make extra matches and replays available via a third on-demand channel.

There will also be at least one channel carrying the ESPN brand, with BT now owning all of that channel's live sports rights from August 1, 2013.

Can BT Sport cut Sky Sports down to size?

Coverage will be anchored by Jake Humphrey and Claire Balding, and BT is expected to continue competing for extra sports rights to pack out the schedules and boost the channel's value to subscribers.

The first half of 2013 will no doubt involve tense behind-the-scenes negotiations with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky as BT seeks to get its service in front of as many eyeballs as possible while getting as much money back as it can, and ensuring BT Vision subscribers can receive the Sky Sports channels.

What will be on BT Sport?

BT Sport’s coverage will include:

British sports

  • Barclays Premier League: 38 live fixtures, with 18 of those matches being high-profile ‘first picks’ such as Manchester United vs Chelsea
  • English FA Cup: two matches in the first and second rounds (plus up to two replays per round), three matches from the third to fifth rounds (plus up to one replay), two quarter-finals (plus up to one replay) and one semi-final
  • Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League: all games in 2013-14 season
  • Aviva Premiership Rugby & JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens: shared with Sky in 2013-14, and all 69 live matches from 2014-15 to 2017-18

European sports

  • Italian Serie A football
  • French Ligue 1 football
  • German Bundesliga football
  • German Supercup football

The French and Italian packages alone include 380 HD live matches per season, plus match highlights and weekly reviews.

American sports

  • Major League Soccer (MLS): 99 games in HD
  • Brazil’s Campeonato Paulista and Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Série A: 100 live matches  per season
  • NCAA College Basketball
  • NCAA College Football
  • NASCAR motor racing

Other sports

  • Women’s Tennis Association (WTA): Live matches from tournaments including Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing and Istanbul. Coverage will be shared with Eurosport in 2013, but will be exclusive to BT Sport from 2014

News stories about BT Sport

FA Cup, Europa League and Bundesliga may fly to BT Vision from ESPN 

BT may boost its three sports channels with live TV rights to the English FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga as ESPN flees the UK.

Disney-owned ESPN is preparing to bow out of Britain after a costly affair with English Premier League sporting rights, which ended when BT and Sky bought the matches from Summer 2013.

The Financial Times reports that BT could spend up to £20m a year to pick up ESPN’s rights as it seeks to create a family of channels which could provide good value to subscribers.

BT Sport: FA Cup, Europa League and Bundesliga may fly to BT Vision from ESPN
German Bundesliga...don't mention the score

ESPN has one year remaining on a shared deal with ITV which gave it the rights to show two matches in the first and second rounds of the English FA Cup (plus up to two replays per round), three matches from the third to fifth rounds (plus up to one replay), two quarter-finals (plus up to one replay) and one semi-final.

It also has live rights until the 2014/15 season to the Bundesliga, including the German Supercup, as well as highlights packages and video on-demand, and the Europa League (shared with ITV).

February 18, 2013

Clare Balding scores weekly presenting gig

​BT Sport has signed up Channel 4 Racing presenter Clare Balding to helm a weekly show for the forthcoming sports channel.

The show, which Balding will also co-produce, is described as a ‘sports magazine show,’ and will feature interviews with major sporting names as well as providing coverage of women’s sport.

In a statement, Balding  said: “I’d like to thank BT for giving me the opportunity to present my own magazine style programme in which I can interview iconic sports stars and discuss newsworthy and stimulating topics. I’m enthused by BT’s vision for sports coverage in the future and particularly their support of women’s sport, an issue about which I feel very strongly.”

BT Sport has recently signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association for over 800-hours of live tennis, which would sit nicely alongside the show. BT also signed up former Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey to head a football show. With another A-list name now under its belt, the BT Sport line-up is looking increasingly solid.

January 31, 2013

Live Women’s Tennis broadcast rights snapped up

BT Sport has done a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) which will see 800-odd hours of live tennis broadcast on the upcoming channel.

The deal includes coverage of live matches from 21 WTA tournaments across the globe, including the five elite WTA tournaments - Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing and Istanbul - and matches between current World No.1 Victoria Azarenka and challengers Maria Sharapova and the Williams sisters.

Live Women’s Tennis broadcast rights snapped up

The BT Sport deal will remain for four years and during 2013, broadcast rights will be jointly held with Eurosport. After this in 2014, BT Sport will have exclusive broadcast rights over WTA games.

Today’s announcement sees BT Sport strengthen its hand, which includes coverage of 38 Barclays Premier League football games and 69 live Aviva Premiership rugby union games.

There’s no due date for BT Sport just yet but it’s expected to launch this summer, in time for the new Premier League season.

Image credit: Flickr user msdeegan

January 11, 2013

Three channels for football, rugby and on-demand sports

BT Sport could be home to three channels upon launch, one for football, one for rugby and a third channel which will act as a portal for on-demand and pay-per-view content.

Though not officially announced by BT, the rumours are that there will be at least one channel for its football coverage, which includes plenty of international games as well as 38 Premier League fixtures, and another channel for rugby and potentially other sports too.

BT Sport’s future hinted at with sailing channels

Will BT be complimenting its live Premier League matches with white knuckle footage of... sailing? Not quite. Not much gets past us here at Recombu Digital so the second we spotted that Ofcom had given BT the licence for two channels, provisionally titled 'Sailing 1' and 'Sailing 2' we were on the phone to our various sources.

Far from being what we feared, we learned that the sailing channels were mere placeholders for what is to come - namely live football and rugby action.

BT adds Serie A, Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer

BT has inked a new deal which will see a host of live international football matches, including Serie A from Italy and Ligue 1 from France.

Jake Humphrey to head BT football channel

Despite the word on the street saying that Gary Lineker was in talks to helm BT's forthcoming sports channel, it's been announced by BT that former Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey

Gary Lineker rumoured to head BT football show

Gary Lineker is apparently in talks to host BT's forthcoming football show. The former England striker and Match of the Day mainstay has reportedly expressed interest in transferring from Team BBC to Team BT.