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BT Sport is a group of sports television channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was 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 Sky, Eir TV and Vodafone TV in the Republic of Ireland.

BT Sport
BT Sport logo from 2018 to present
Launched1 August 2013
Owned byBT Group
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
4K (UHDTV)
Audience share0.34% (1)
0.22% (2)
0.11% (3)
0.04% (ESPN) (September 2018 (2018-09), BARB)
SloganTake them all on.
CountryUnited Kingdom, Ireland
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Ireland
HeadquartersQueen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Sister channel(s)BT Sport ESPN
BoxNation
AMC from BT (UK only)
Websitesport.bt.com
Availability
Satellite
SkyChannel 413 (1)
Channel 414 (2)
Channel 417 (3)
Channel 423 (ESPN)
Channel 490 (Box Office HD)
Channel 867 (1 HD)
Channel 868 (2 HD)
Channel 869 (3 HD)
Channel 872 (ESPN HD)
Cable
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 527 (1 HD)
Channel 528 (2 HD)
Channel 529 (3 HD)
Channel 530 (ESPN HD)
Channel 531 (4K UHD)
IPTV
BTChannel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (2)
Channel 410 (3)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
Channel 430 (1 HD)
Channel 431 (2 HD)
Channel 432 (3 HD)
Channel 433 (4K UHD)
Channel 434 (ESPN HD)
Channel 450–455 (Extra 1–6)
Channel 465–470 (Extra 1–6 HD)
Channel 494 (Box Office HD)
PlusnetChannel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (2)
Channel 410 (3)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
Channel 430 (1 HD)
Channel 431 (2 HD)
Channel 432 (3 HD)
Channel 434 (ESPN HD)
Channel 450–455 (Extra 1–6)
TalkTalk TVChannel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (2)
Channel 410 (3)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
Channel 450–455 (Extra 1–6)
Eir VisionChannel 422 (1 SD/HD)
Channel 423 (2 SD/HD)
Channel 424 (3 SD/HD)
Channel 425 (ESPN SD/HD)
Vodafone IrelandBT Sport 1, 2, 3 and ESPN
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)
Watch live (3, UK only)
Watch live (ESPN, UK only)

BT Sport holds exclusive live UK and Republic of Ireland TV rights to 46 Premier League matches per season, all Australia's home cricket matches, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UFC, National League, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, the FA Community Shield, the FA Trophy and the European Rugby Challenge Cup, the Premiership Rugby Cup, MotoGP, and the FIH Hockey World League. They are also the official broadcast partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Premiership Rugby. BT Sport also holds shared rights to the FA Cup with the BBC, the Scottish Professional Football League with Sky Sports and BBC Alba. In 2015, BT Sport launched their showcase service in SD and in HD in 2017. The SD service closed on 9 May 2017 and the HD service in 2018.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Launch (2013)Edit

News of BT's first foray into sports broadcasting first came about on 12 June 2012 when it was announced that they had won the rights to 38 live Premier League matches for three seasons from the 2013-14 season, beating American broadcast partner ESPN who had held the shared rights with Sky Sports the previous season. BT announced at the same time that it would be launching its own channel for its new football coverage.[3] The news followed speculation that ESPN was reconsidering its position in the UK.[4] The following months also saw BT win rights to Premiership Rugby and its associated 7s Series, and American, Brazilian, French and Italian top-flight football.[5][6] On 25 February 2013, BT agreed to acquire ESPN's UK and Ireland TV channels business, consisting of ESPN and ESPN America (ESPN Classic was not included). BT would continue to broadcast at least one ESPN branded channel since the deal's completion date of 31 July, as part of its BT Sport package of services. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but BT was understood to be paying "low tens of millions".[7]

On 2 May 2013, BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2 were added to the BT TV 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.[8] 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.[9] The Channels started broadcasting on 1 August 2013, on the same day ESPN America ceased to broadcast and ESPN became ESPN from BT Sport; broadcasting most of ESPN America's content. BT signed a wholesale deal with Virgin Media on 15 August 2013 bringing the channels free of charge to customers on the TV XL package.[10]

An interactive service, BT Sport Extra, launched in September 2014, broadcasting additional content at selected times.[11] One video stream was available at launch which expanded to seven in August 2015. BT Sport Extra can be accessed directly from the EPG on YouView boxes and from the red button on Sky and Virgin Media.

On 9 June 2015, ESPN from BT Sport was rebranded BT Sport ESPN.

Expansion (2015-)Edit

On 1 August 2015, BT launched three new channels: BT Sport Europe, a dedicated channel for its coverage of European football and rugby union including the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and rugby challenge and champions cups; BT Sport Showcase, a free-to-air only HD channel which would show a number of sporting events unencrypted via Freeview such as Champions League; and BT Sport Ultra HD, the UK's first and only 4K television channel which will broadcast a number of events in ultra-high-definition exclusively on BT TV.[12] On 4 August 2016, BT Sport Europe was renamed BT Sport 3 and BT Sport Ultra HD to BT Sport 4K UHD. A similar channel to BT Sport Showcase was made available on Virgin media named BT Sport Free.

BT Sport Box OfficeEdit

In April 2018, BT Sport revealed its intention to launch a pay-per-view channel to show live boxing[13] and in August BT Sport announced that the channel would launch on 15 September.[14]

Current BT Sport channels and logos
       

AvailabilityEdit

In the UK, BT Sport is available in standard definition with all BT TV packages for BT Broadband customers, programming is also available in high definition called BT Sport 4K UHD to BT Infinity customers for an additional fee.

On Sky and Plusnet TV BT Sport 1 only is currently offered for free to broadband subscribers as 'BT Sport Lite', regardless of what subscription they have. Customers who wish to view the remaining channels can subscribe to the 'BT Sport Pack' in either standard or high definition.[15] BT also provide broadband subscribers access to the channels via the BT Sport online player and mobile app.[16] BT Sport pack Subscribers also receive BoxNation in standard definition only and Sky UK customers also have exclusive access to AMC from BT in the relevant definition.

Virgin Media customers receive BT Sport 1, 2, 3 and ESPN in HD and BT Sport 4K UHD as part of their "Full House" bundle however, they do not receive BoxNation or AMC from BT.

TalkTalk TV customers must subscribe to the BT Sport Pack in order to receive the entire range of channels.

In the Republic of Ireland, BT Sport channels (except 4K UHD) are bundled with Eir Sport subscriptions across all platforms, as a part of a deal BT had with what was Setanta Sports back then.[17][18] The deal means BT Sport 1, 2, 3, ESPN and BoxNation are part of the Eir Sport Pack in the Republic, along with Eir Sport 1 and Eir Sport 2.

In addition Freeview HD customers received BT Sport Showcase and Virgin Media customers received BT Sport Free. They closed on 30 June 2018.

On 4 December 2018, the SD versions of BT Sport stopped broadcasting on all platforms.

ProgrammingEdit

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 Sky, outbidding existing broadcaster ESPN for the rights.[19] BT showed 38 live matches from the Premier League each season, including 18 first pick matches, from the 2013/14 season to the end of the 2015/16 season.

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,[20] as well as Premiership Rugby.[21]

In January 2013 BT announced they will also broadcast Women's Tennis Association matches from 21 tournaments.[22]

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.[23] This led to the shutting down of ESPN Classic and ESPN America in favour of the BT Sport channels.

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.[24] 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.[25] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[9][26]

On 9 May 2013, BT announced that they had acquired the exclusive UK TV rights to MotoGP along with the Moto2 and Moto3 championships.

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.

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.[27][28]

In January 2014, it was reported that BT Sport had acquired the rights to broadcast the World Rally Championship for the 2014 season.[29][30]

Football coverageEdit

PresentersEdit

Name Nat. Coverage
Jake Humphrey   Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup & FA Community Shield
Gary Lineker   Champions League
Lynsey Hipgrave   Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Darrell Currie   Premier League, Scottish Football, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Matt Smith   National League & FA Cup
James Richardson   Champions League Goals Show, National League & FA Cup

Pundits and CommentatorsEdit

Name Role(s) Coverage
Clive Allen Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League & Ligue 1
Ben Andrews Lead Commemtator Bundesliga & 2. Bundesliga
Jim Beglin Co-commentator Champions League, FA Cup & Bundesliga
Steve Bower Lead commentator Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, National League & Bundesliga
Wayne Boyce Lead commentator Ligue 1
Simon Brotherton Lead commentator Champions League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Tim Caple Lead commentator 2. Bundesliga
Stephen Craigan Pundit & Co-commentator Scottish Football
Ian Darke Lead commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Kevin Davies Pundit & Co-commentator Europa League, FA Cup & National League
Paul Dempsey Lead commentator Champions League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Tony Dorigo Co-commentator Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Peter Drury Lead commentator Champions League, FA Cup & Bundesliga
Richard Dunne Pundit Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup
Efan Ekoku Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Dave Farrar Lead commentator Champions League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Rio Ferdinand Pundit Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup
James Fielden Lead Commentator Bundesliga & 2. Bundesliga
Darren Fletcher Lead commentator Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup
Kevin Gallacher Co-commentator Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Rory Hamilton Lead commentator Scottish Football
Chris Hargreaves Pundit National League
Owen Hargreaves Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup & Bundesliga
John Hartson Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup & Scottish Football
Glenn Hoddle Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Grant Holt Pundit National League
Raphael Honigstein Pundit Champions League
James Horncastle Pundit Champions League
Don Hutchison Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Seb Hutchinson Lead commentator Europa League & Ligue 1
Jermaine Jenas Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Martin Keown Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Julien Laurens Pundit Champions League
Rob MacLean Lead commentator Scottish Football
Alistair Mann Lead commentator Champions League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Dan Mason Lead commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Ally McCoist Pundit & Co-commentator Scottish Football
Steve McManaman Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup
Danny Mills Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Guy Mowbray Lead commentator Champions League
Michael Owen Pundit Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Jonathan Pearce Lead commentator Champions League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Chris Perry Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Stewart Robson Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
John Roder Lead commentator Champions League & Ligue 1
Dean Saunders Pundit Premier League & FA Cup
Robbie Savage Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Paul Scholes Pundit Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup
Mark Scott Lead commentator Bundesliga & 2. Bundlesliga
Nigel Spackman Co-commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Joe Speight Lead commentator Champions League, Europa League & Bundesliga
Michael Stewart Pundit & Co-commentator Scottish Football
Adam Summerton Lead commentator Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, National League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Chris Sutton Pundit & Co-commentator Premier League, Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup & Scottish Football
Kevin Thomson Pundit & Co-commentator Scottish Football
Adam Virgo Co-commentator Europa League, FA Cup, National League & Ligue 1
Paul Walker Lead Commentator Bundesliga & Ligue 1
Steven Wyeth Lead commentator Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga & Ligue 1

ReportersEdit

Name Coverage
Des Kelly (Chief Reporter) Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Matt Smith Premier League, Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Reshmin Chowdhury Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Paul Dempsey Premier League (occasional), Champions League, Europa League & FA Cup
Lynsey Hipgrave Premier League (occasional), Champions League & Europa League
Darrell Currie Champions League & Europa League
Natalie Quirk Champions League
Andy May Champions League, Europa League & National League
Eilidh Barbour Scottish Football & Europa League (Reporting on Celtic in 18/19 season)
Emma Dodds Scottish Football & Europa League (Reporting on Rangers in 18/19 season)
Jeff Brazier National League

Premier LeagueEdit

BT Sport currently has the rights to show 42 live Premier League matches from the 2016–17 to 2018–19 seasons. Their packages (B and F) give BT the rights for 12 1st pick matches. The coverage for the current rights period see BT Sport showing live matches on Saturday evenings at 5:30 pm, they also show midweek matches. The rights to the Premier League are shared with Sky Sports, who have 126 live matches, and the BBC, who have highlights on Match of the Day. BT Sport Score is a weekly television programme broadcast on BT Sport during the football season. The programme was launched in 2016 to rival the BBC's Final Score and Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday. The programme updates viewers on the progress of association football games in the United Kingdom on Saturday afternoons between 2:45 pm and 5:00 pm. Mark Pougatch and Jules Breach present BT Sport Score with Breach giving updates on Fantasy football and social media. Usual pundits on the programme include Chris Sutton, Robbie Savage, Jermaine Jenas, Paul Ince and Dean Saunders along with various other guests.

Premier League matches are anchored by presenter Jake Humphrey. When Humphrey is not available or if there are two matches in one day, Darrell Currie or Lynsey Hipgrave also present. Lead commentary is provided by Darren Fletcher and Ian Darke. The studio pundits and co-commentators include Steve McManaman, Owen Hargreaves, Martin Keown, Glenn Hoddle, Robbie Savage, Jermaine Jenas, Chris Sutton and John Hartson. Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Richard Dunne, Michael Owen and Harry Redknapp are all studio pundits too. Des Kelly, Matt Smith and occasionally Lynsey Hipgrave and Paul Dempsey are the reporters.

From 2019 to 2022 BT will show 52 live Premier League matches per season (packages A&G). This includes 20 second picks and 12 fifth picks. Weekend coverage will also move from Saturday evening to Saturday lunchtime.

Champions League and Europa LeagueEdit

BT Sport has exclusive live coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League until 2021.

Gary Lineker fronts all of the Champions League action with Jake Humphrey, Lynsey Hipgrave and Darrell Currie also presenting coverage. Matt Smith presents the Champions League highlights show after every match night. Jake Humphrey and occasionally Lynsey Hipgrave fronts all of the Europa League action with Hipgrave presenting highlights after every match night.

James Richardson hosts the Goals Show every Champions League match night, during the group stages, with James Horncastle, Julien Laurens and Raphael Honigstein joining as pundits to keep viewers up to date of all the scores and they can watch every goal go in live.

Lead commentators on the Champions League coverage on BT Sport include, Darren Fletcher, Ian Darke, Peter Drury, Paul Dempsey, Guy Mowbray, Steve Bower, Jonathan Pearce, Simon Brotherton, Dave Farrar, Alistair Mann, Adam Summerton, Steven Wyeth, John Roder, Joe Speight and Dan Mason. Lead commentators on the Europa League include, Ian Darke, Steve Bower, Adam Summerton, Paul Dempsey, Dan Mason, Seb Hutchinson, Joe Speight and Steven Wyeth. Studio pundits are used on English teams across both competitions as well as the knockout stages of both competitions and are taken from BT’s Premier League coverage. The same co-commentators used on the Premier League coverage are also used on Champions League and Europa League coverage. Aswell as the co-commentators used on Premier League coverage, additional co-commentators on both the Champions League and Europa League include, Stewart Robson, Efan Ekoku, Don Hutchison, Clive Allen, Chris Perry, Danny Mills and Nigel Spackman, with Jim Beglin who only co-commentates on Champions League and Tony Dorigo, Adam Virgo and Kevin Davies who only co-commentate on Europa League. Reporters across both competitions include Des Kelly, Reshmin Chowdhury, Paul Dempsey, Matt Smith, Lynsey Hipgrave, Darrell Currie, Andy May and Natalie Quirk. When Scottish teams feature in the Champions League or Europa League, the presentation, punditry, commentary and reporter are all from BT's Scottish Football coverage.

FA CupEdit

BT Sport obtained the rights to the FA Cup through its acquisition of ESPN, who had one year remaining in their existing contract. In 2016, BT Group extended its contract with The Football Association to show up to 30 live games a season from the competition from 2018–19 to 2020–21.[31] In the first and second rounds, Matt Smith and James Richardson host the coverage at the ground alongside select guests related to the teams involved. Commentary on these games is usually provided by Adam Summerton, Steve Bower or Peter Drury alongside either Adam Virgo or Kevin Davies. No designated reporters are usually at the ground, therefore the managers of the teams usually join the presentation team pre and post match. From the third round onwards, Jake Humphrey, Lynsey Hipgrave and Darrell Currie present, alongside pundits taken from the Premier League coverage. Lead commentators include, Ian Darke, Darren Fletcher, Peter Drury and occasionally, if a lower league side progresses into the latter stages, Adam Summerton. Co-commentary is provided by the same co-commentators who feature on Premier League coverage aswell as, Jim Beglin, Danny Mills and Adam Virgo. With, Des Kelly, Reshmin Chowdhury, Paul Dempsey and Matt Smith the designated reporters for these games.

FA Community ShieldEdit

Since 2015, BT Sport have had exclusive live coverage of the FA Community Shield. In 2018, Jake Humphrey presented, alongside Rio Ferdinand, Richard Dunne and Chris Sutton. Darren Fletcher and Steve McManaman commentated, and Des Kelly reported.

Vanarama National LeagueEdit

BT Sport has exclusive rights to the Vanarama National League covering 1 game a weekend. Matt Smith is the main presenter, with James Richardson the relief host, often being joined by pundits Grant Holt, Chris Hargreaves and Kevin Davies with Davies very occasionally providing co-commentary. Match commentator Adam Summerton is joined by Adam Virgo in the commentary box. Steve Bower also commentates when his schedule allows, normally during matches broadcast during the international break. Jeff Brazier is the main reporter on National League coverage, with Andy May very occasionally reporting.

FA TrophyEdit

BT have the full exclusive rights to the FA Trophy. BT Sport showed the 2015 FA Trophy Final live. BT Sport also showed the 2016 FA Trophy Final between Halifax Town and Grimsby Town live on 22 May as part of a double-header along with the 2016 FA Vase Final. In 2017 highlights of the semi-finals were shown on the channel during their National League highlights show. The same presentation team as the National League coverage is used, with Adam Summerton and Adam Virgo commentating.

Scottish Professional Football LeagueEdit

BT host rights to show 30 Scottish Professional Football League games a season, sharing the rights with Sky Sports and BBC Alba. Darrell Currie is the main presenter with Eilidh Barbour occasionally presenting if there are two games within a day or if Currie is unavailable, with pundits including Chris Sutton, Stephen Craigan, Ally McCoist, Michael Stewart, Kevin Thomson and John Hartson. All of these pundits also contribute to co-commentary duty alongside Rory Hamilton or Rob MacLean who are the lead commentators. There is always a 3 man commentary line up on the Scottish coverage with the most prominent co-commentary pairing being Craigan and Sutton. Eilidh Barbour and Emma Dodds serve as the pitch-side reporters, with David Tanner occasionally reporting if Barbour is on presenting duty. From the 2016/17 season, BT Sport have aired a 30-minute preview show "Scottish Football Extra" before every live match. Also from the start of the 2016-17 season, BT Sport has been the home of exclusive live coverage of the Scottish League Cup, showing two or three live matches per round, from July through to the final in November. From the 2020-21 season, all SPFL matches will be on Sky Sports.

BundesligaEdit

BT Sport have full exclusive rights to the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. Lead commentary on Bundesliga action comes from, Ben Andrews, Steve Bower, Simon Brotherton, Paul Dempsey, Peter Drury, Dave Farrar, James Fielden, Alistair Mann, Dan Mason, Jonathan Pearce, Mark Scott, Joe Speight, Adam Summerton, Paul Walker and Steven Wyeth. The co-commentators include, Jim Beglin, Tony Dorigo, Efan Ekoku, Kevin Gallacher, Don Hutchison, Chris Perry, Stewart Robson and Nigel Spackman. Occasionally, Premier League pundit and ex Bayern Munich player, Owen Hargreaves also contributes to co-commentary. Ben Andrews, Tim Caple, James Fielden & Mark Scott are the lead commentators 2. Bundesliga coverage.

Ligue 1Edit

BT currently have exclusive rights to Ligue 1. Lead commentators on Ligue 1 action comes from, Wayne Boyce, Simon Brotherton, Paul Dempsey, Dave Farrar, Seb Hutchinson, Alistair Mann, Dan Mason, Jonathan Pearce, John Roder, Adam Summerton, Paul Walker and Steven Wyeth. The co-commentators include, Clive Allen, Tony Dorigo, Efan Ekoku, Kevin Gallacher, Don Hutchison, Chris Perry, Stewart Robson, Nigel Spackman and Adam Virgo.

Coppa ItaliaEdit

Despite losing the broadcasting rights of Serie A to Eleven Sports, the channel still shows some Italian football - the Coppa Italia. The same commentators heard on BT’s coverage of Bundesliga and Ligue 1 can also be heard on Coppa Italia.

A-LeagueEdit

BT Sport have exclusive rights to the A-League where Fox Sports commentators and pundits are used.

Rugby union coverageEdit

BT Sport had exclusive live rights to the Anglo-Welsh Cup until its final competition in 2017–18, as well as being senior broadcast partner of Premiership Rugby. The original Premiership coverage deal ran until the 2016/17 season and allowed BT Sport to exclusively broadcast up to 69 live games per season. The Aviva Premiership's viewing figures rose by 40% in TV audiences in its first season with BT Sport.[32] A new deal was signed in March 2015 to cover the Premiership Rugby until 2021 covering up to 80 matches a season from 2017–18 and introducing an extended highlights programme from the 2015-16 season.[33] Subsequently, in 2017 Channel 5 announced a deal that would see them simulcast five matches per season for the remaining duration of the deal.[34] BT originally shared rights to European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)'s champions and challenge cups with Sky Sports, each broadcaster will exclusively broadcast up to 30 pool matches, 2 quarter-finals and 1 semi-final from each competition with the finals being shown by both. BT also received first pick on Champions Cup matches involving Premiership Rugby clubs. For four seasons from the 2018-19 season, BT Sport will become the official broadcast partner of the Champions and Challenge cups and broadcast up to 134 matches per season.[35] The Challenge Cup will be shown exclusively on BT Sport whilst broadcasting of the Champions Cup will be shared with Channel 4 in the UK and Virgin Media Sport in the Republic of Ireland with both channels simulcasting one match from each round and the final.

Craig Doyle is the main presenter with Martin Bayfield and Sarra Elgan also presenting. Lawrence Dallaglio, Ben Kay, David Flatman, Austin Healey, Brian O'Driscoll and Ugo Monye provide further punditry and co-commentary. The reporters include Bayfield and Elgan aswell as, Tim Cocker. BT Sport usually have one forward and one back acting as co-commentators on every match so one of Dallaglio, Kay or Flatman along with one of Healey, O'Driscoll or Monye join the lead commentator, Nick Mullins or Alastair Eykyn in the commentary box.

On BT’s coverage of the Champions Cup, aswell as those used on the Premiership rugby coverage, guest pundits and guest co-commentators are regularly used. In addition to Mullins and Eykyn, freelance lead commentators such as Andrew Cotter, Martin Gillingham and many others are used and along with Bayfield, Elgan and Cocker, Jill Douglas and Sonja McLaughlan are also reporters that are used on Champions Cup coverage too.

Cricket coverageEdit

In August 2015, it was announced that BT Sport had claimed the rights for Australia's home matches for five years starting in the 2016-17 season. This means that BT would show The Ashes series between England and Australia in 2017-18 with the deal also including the Big Bash League, the Women's Ashes and the Women's Big Bash League[36]. In 2019, BT Sport also won rights to broadcast every match of the 2019 Indian Premier League[37].

BT’s coverage of the 2017-18 Ashes series was fronted by Matt Smith. The pundits and commentators included, Michael Vaughan, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Geoffrey Boycott, Graeme Swann, Damien Fleming, Kevin Pietersen, Michael Hussey and Brett Lee. Alison Mitchell and Michael Slater also provided commentary, with Mitchell, also acting as a secondary presenter and reporter.

As of the 2018-19 Australian cricketing summer, BT Sport have taken feeds from Australian broadcasters, Fox Cricket and Channel 7. With coverage being introduced out-of-vision by Matt Smith, Simon Hughes or Charles Dagnall.

Tennis coverageEdit

In January 2013, BT Sport signed a deal with the WTA to show 21 live tournaments from the women's tennis tour. The coverage can consist of up to 800 live hours of coverage every year until 2016, each season ending with the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.

BT Sport also showed coverage of the 2018 Fed Cup hosted by Clare Balding with Jo Durie and Laura Robson, commentary was provided by David Law and Sam Smith.

As of January 2017, BT Sport have the rights to show 52 WTA tournaments every year until 2019. Coverage is introduced by Annabel Croft with Martina Navratilova and commentary comes from Chris Bradnam, David Law, Sam Smith, Jo Durie and Anne Keothavong.

Motorsport coverageEdit

BT Sport has rights to numerous British, European, American and global motorsport series both in live and highlights form.

MotoGP is BT Sport's flagship motorsports event and in addition to the main MotoGP event, BT shows the Moto2, Moto3, Red Bull Rookies and CEV Repsol championships. Suzi Perry hosts the coverage alongside pundits Jeremy McWilliams, Colin Edwards, Michael Laverty, James Toseland and Neil Hodgson. Commentary is provided by Keith Huewen and Neil Hodgson throughout qualifying sessions and the race. Gavin Emmett, former World Feed commentator, takes up the role of BT Sport's MotoGP reporter. He also presents Chequered Flag which is aired after the MotoGP race has finished.

IndyCar Series coverage on BT Sport is just world feed pictures and commentary usually from either ABC or NBC Sports. For ABC as of 2018, Allen Bestwick is the lap-by-lap commentator while former IndyCar drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever serve as colour commentators. Then for NBC Sports Leigh Diffey is the lap-by-lap commentator with the other commentators being Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Perry presents coverage of the Indianapolis 500.

Other live series include the World Rally Championship, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and the Australian Supercars Championship where the world feed is taken directly from the host broadcaster. For World Series by Renault, BT Sport take world feed images but produce their own commentary, usually from Ben Evans and a journalist or racing driver. Highlights packages are also shown on BT Sport for series such as BRDC Formula 4 Championship, FIA European Formula Three Championship and the British Formula Three Championship.

American sports coverageEdit

BT Sport shows extensive coverage of American sports, including Major League Baseball, American College Sports, Major League Lacrosse, and X Games. Also ESPN-produced American sports magazines, such as College Gameday and Baseball Tonight, are shown, often live. The majority of American sports coverage is broadcast on BT Sport ESPN.

Combat sports coverageEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

BT Sport holds the UK rights to UFC programming, most recently renewed in 2018, including live events and other non-live programming[38]. Coverage until the start of 2019 was taken from then broadcaster Fox Sports, and is now taken from ESPN. Common voices that can be heard on UFC coverage include Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz.

BoxingEdit

Since 2017 BT Sport has an association with BoxNation to show certain live fights from Frank Warren Promotions. On 15 September 2018 BT Sport showed its first boxing pay-per-view boxing event - the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez[14] and on 1 December 2018 BT showed the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight. Both were shown on BT's pay-per-view channel BT Sport Box Office. Paul Dempsey leads the coverage alongside Richie Woodhall, Steve Bunce and other guests. John Rawling and Barry Jones provide commentary with Caroline Pearce the ringside reporter.

World Poker TourEdit

In February, the World Poker Tour (WPT) announced a new deal with BT Sports to broadcast the World Poker Tour in the UK and Ireland across BT Sports networks. The company will broadcast season XV of the WPT, which took place from 2016-2017. Highlights from the season include the first WPT victory of poker commentator Mike Sexton and the first victory by a woman in an open WPT event.[39]

Previous coverageEdit

FootballEdit

Serie AEdit

BT Sport previously held exclusive rights to the Serie A, Italy's top-flight association football league. From the start of the 2018-19 season, coverage moved to Eleven Sports[40] then later to Premier Sports but as a replacement, BT Sport airs Coppa Italia from 2018-19 until 2020-21 season.[41]

DFB PokalEdit

BT Sport previously broadcast DFB-Pokal.[42] From the start of the 2018-19 season, coverage moved to Eleven Sports.

CricketEdit

Caribbean Premier LeagueEdit

BT broadcast all 34 matches from the Caribbean Premier League most recently in 2017.

DartsEdit

BDO Darts coverageEdit

It was announced in December 2014 that BT Sport would share the rights to the 2015 BDO World Darts Championship alongside BBC Sport. Coverage would be presented by Ray Stubbs for the first two years of their coverage. In August 2016 they signed a new 2-year deal to share rights this time with Channel 4. Matt Smith took over as presenter with Chris Mason as studio pundit and Reshmin Chowdury as roving reporter. Commentators on BT Sport Darts coverage were John Rawling, Jim Proudfoot, Vassos Alexander, Paul Nicholson, Deta Hedman and Chris Mason, these are shared with Channel 4's coverage, as the commentary is produced independently. BT Sport did not renew their contract for the 2019 tournament and the rights are now held by QUEST and Eurosport

BasketballEdit

NBAEdit

BT Sport previously held exclusive rights to the NBA, since 2009-10 season. Live coverage of the games began on ESPN, from 6 October 2009 when the Utah Jazz took on the pre-season game against Chicago Bulls as part of NBA Europe Live Tour. Coverage continued on 8 October 2009 for Utah Jazz against Euroleague Basketball's Real Madrid Baloncesto. The NBA season officially started on 27 October 2009.[43]

ESPN UK was unable to secure the rights to the 2012-13 NBA season until 5 December 2012 when a deal was made between NBA and ESPN to show 3 games a week, NBA All Star Game, First and Second Round NBA Play-off coverage, Western Conference Finals, and NBA Finals for this season (2012–13). Coverage began the following day. The channel continues to show this after the acquisition of ESPN by BT Sport (becomes BT Sport ESPN) until 2017-18 season. From 2018-19 season, coverage moved to Sky Sports.[44]

WNBAEdit

Same as the men's league games, the Women's NBA games also moved to Sky Sports from 2018-19 season.

Magazine showsEdit

  • Rugby Tonight - Wednesdays at 8:00 pm sees Craig Doyle, Ugo Monye and Ben Kay present a debate about rugby union. Their guests include current and former players and referees reviewing and previewing the Aviva Premiership and France's Top 14.
  • MotoGP Tonight - Presented by Craig Doyle and Iwan Thomas every Tuesday night following a race weekend, MotoGP and motorbike racing are discussed in front of a live studio audience.
  • Motorsport Tonight - Aired every Tuesday night whenever MotoGP isn't shown, Abi Griffiths is joined by guests from the world of motorsport. Highlights are also shown of motorsport events broadcast on BT Sport.
  • UFC: Beyond The Octagon - Presented by Caroline Pearce alongside Gareth A Davies
  • Boxing Tonight - Presented by Paul Dempsey
  • Premier League Tonight - Saturdays at 8 pm sees Jake Humphrey and a team of experts present the latest news and gossip from the Premier League.
  • BT Sport Score - Saturdays at 2:30 pm, keeps up with the latest scores across the UK presented by Mark Pougatch who is joined by various pundits.
  • UEFA Champions League Magazine - Fridays at 7:00 pm.

Classic sportEdit

BT Sport's weekday daytime schedules often include sporting action from yesteryear. Football features heavily and includes league matches from the 1970s and 1980s from both the ITV Sport, including full editions of The Big Match, and the BBC's Match of the Day archives. Also featured are FA Cup matches from the 1970s to the present day and UEFA Champions League matches. Other sporting action includes boxing matches from the ESPN and ITV Sport archives as well as MotoGP races and Australian cricket.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "BT Sport to make iCity and the Olympic Broadcast Centre its production home" (Press release). BT Group. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. 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. DMG Media. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Premier League rights sold to BT and BSkyB for £3bn". BBC News. 13 June 2012.
  4. ^ "ESPN could quit UK". Pocket-lint. 9 May 2012.
  5. ^ "BT poaches Premiership Rugby rights from ESPN, Sky". Digital Spy. 12 September 2012.
  6. ^ "BT deals further blow to ESPN with new rights deals". Digital Spy. 6 November 2012.
  7. ^ "BT buys ESPN'S UK and Ireland TV channels". The Guardian. 25 February 2013.
  8. ^ "BT bags two Sky EPG slots for sports channels". Cable.co.uk. 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  9. ^ a b "BT Sport goes free". Broadband TV News. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  10. ^ "BT and Virgin Media sign wholesale BT Sport deal". BT Group. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  11. ^ "BT Sport gives viewers more content with new 'red button' service". BT Group. 19 September 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  12. ^ "UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League to be free with BT TV". BT Group. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ "BT Sport to launch pay-per-view Box Office channel". sport-onthebox.com. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Canelo v GGG rematch to launch BT Sport Box Office". sport-onthebox.com. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  15. ^ "BT Sport FAQ". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  16. ^ "BT Sport free for millions of homes" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  17. ^ Hancock, Ciaran (22 June 2013). "Setanta to net deal with BT to offer more live Premier League games in Ireland". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  18. ^ "Setanta Sports adds BT Sport to its line-up". BT. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Premier League rights sold to BT and BSkyB for £3bn". BBC News. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  20. ^ "BT signs four more live match deals with top football leagues" (Press release). BT Group. 29 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  21. ^ "BT poaches Premiership Rugby rights from ESPN, Sky". Digital Spy. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  22. ^ "BT Sport broadens appeal as it signs live women's tennis with WTA agreement" (Press release). BT Group. 11 January 2013. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2013.
  23. ^ "BT Group acquires ESPN's UK and Ireland television channels business" (Press release). BT Group. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  24. ^ "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) confirms BT Sport deal". Seen It. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  25. ^ "BT Sport to bring MotoGP™ to British audiences from 2014". MotoGP. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  26. ^ "BT Sport unveils line-up of sporting talent" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Champions League: BT Sport win £897m football rights deal". BBC Sport. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  28. ^ "New era for the Champions League as BT Sport unveil Gerrard and Lineker as part of coverage after £900m deal to blow Sky away". Daily Mail. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  29. ^ Evans, David (10 January 2014). "World Rally Championship seals BT Sport TV deal with live coverage". Autosport.com. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  30. ^ "BT Sport wins all live UK TV rights to Champions League and Europa League". BT Sport. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  31. ^ "BT Sport extends FA Cup broadcast rights deal". BT Sport. BT Group. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Record viewing figures for Premiership Rugby".
  33. ^ "BT Sport extend Aviva Premiership Deal". recombu.com. Recombu. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Channel 5 to show live Premiership match for the first time on terrestrial TV". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Ltd. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  35. ^ "BT Sport wins exclusive rights to European Rugby Champions and Challenge Cup". BT Sport. British Telecom plc. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  36. ^ "BT Sport grab 2017-18 Ashes TV rights from Sky Sports in £80m coup". Mail Online. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  37. ^ "BT Sport to broadcast every game of the 2019 Indian Premier League".
  38. ^ Sweney, Mark (14 December 2018). "Eleven Sports sees UFC go to BT as talks to avoid closure continue". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  39. ^ "BT Sports Broadcasts WPT in UK and Ireland".
  40. ^ "La Liga: Eleven Sports gain TV rights from Sky in three-year deal". BBC Sport. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  41. ^ Munroe, Scot (5 December 2018). "Just seen that Bt Sport 1 are showing #TorinoSudtirol. Wonder if they have picked up the Coppa Italia rights. Eeeek #CoppaItaliapic.twitter.com/JaQwMXX5Wl". @scot_munroe. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  42. ^ Andrew Laughlin (15 July 2010). "ESPN to air France, Germany qualifiers". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  43. ^ Andrew Laughlin (30 September 2009). "ESPN secures NBA rights deal". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  44. ^ "Sky Sports and NBA announce four-year broadcast and digital partnership". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

External linksEdit