BT Sport

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BT Sport
BT Sport logo
Launched 1 August 2013
Owned by BT Group
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.1% (1)
~0.0% (2) (July 2014 (2014-07), BARB)
Slogan You have to see it to believe it
Country United Kingdom
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Headquarters Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Replaced Sailing 1
Sailing 2
Sister channel(s) ESPN
Sky Channel 413 (1)
Channel 414 (2)
Channel 426 (1 HD)
Channel 427 (2 HD)
Virgin Media Channel 547 (1)
Channel 548 (2)
Channel 549 (1 HD)
Channel 550 (2 HD)
UPC Ireland Channel 409 (1)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 439 (1 HD)
Channel 440 (2 HD)
BT Channel 507 (1)
Channel 508 (2)
Channel 510 (1 HD)
Channel 511 (2 HD)
Streaming media
BT Sport Player Watch live (1, UK only)
Watch live (2, UK only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch 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 38 Barclays Premier League matches as well as exclusive or shared rights to the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Scottish Premiership, Scottish League, Conference, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Primeira Liga football matches. They also hold the exclusive UK TV rights to Moto GP, The FA Community Shield, The FA Trophy and the Aviva Premiership. From 2015 BT Sport will have the exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.


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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

BT Sport is also offered online, via the BT Sport online player and a mobile app.[6] BT Sport is offered for free to BT's broadband subscribers, who may elect to view the channels via Sky digital satellite, whether or not they have a Sky subscription, by having their viewing card activated.[7]

In Ireland BT Sport is bundled with Setanta Sports subscriptions.[8][9]


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.[10] 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.[14] 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.[15] Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman and David James serve as pundits while Ian Darke or Darren Fletcher commentate alongside Michael Owen. Rio Ferdinand also acts as an interviewer, programme-maker and football expert and Ray Stubbs serves as chief football reporter.[16] Darrell Currie is currently the main touchline reporter and presents live Scottish football with Derek Rae and Gary McAllister as commentators. Stephen Craigan and Emma Dodds complete the Scottish football coverage line-up. Danny Baker and Danny Kelly host a Friday evening show about Football.[17] Helen Skelton presents the live coverage of the FA WSL & Football Conference along with Mark Clemmit

Paul Dempsey presents BT's foreign football coverage,[18] 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.[16][19] 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.[16]

Clare Balding hosts a weekly sports talk show The Clare Balding Show assisted by Christian Howes,[20] 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.[16] SportsHUB (formerly 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.[21] 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.[22] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[4][16]

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. In November 2013 BT Signed former Brighton Midfielder Adam Virgo to co commentate on Saturday matches due to Beattie's Accrington commitments.[23]

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.[24]

In January 2014, it was reported that BT Sport had acquired the rights to broadcast the World Rally Championship for the 2014 season.[25]

Football coverage[edit]

BT Sport has the rights to multiple football leagues from around the world including the Premier League, FA Cup, Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga and from 2015, the UEFA Champions League.

Jake Humphrey hosts Premier League coverage, as well as coverage of the FA Cup and Europa League. Owen Hargreaves, David James, David Ginola, Steve McManaman, Paul Scholes and Neil Warnock act as pundits with commentary from Ian Darke, Darren Fletcher and Michael Owen. Ray Stubbs acts as BT Sport's chief football reporter. Rio Ferdinand has also been signed up as a pundit and programme maker.

Paul Dempsey and James Richardson are hosts of foreign football coverage on BT Sport. Pundits have included Julien Laurens, Raphael Honigstein, James Horncastle, Andy Brassell and Joe Cole. Darrell Currie hosts coverage of the Scottish Premiership with commentary from Derek Rae and Gary McAllister. Stephen Craigan is the main pundit and Emma Dodds is the touchline reporter.

Danny Baker and Danny Kelly also present a weekly football magazine show called Baker and Kelly's V.S.P.O.

A list of on-air football personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Jake Humphrey Presenter Presenter of Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League
Darrell Currie Presenter Scottish football presenter
Emma Dodds Presenter Scottish football presenter
Mark Clemmit Presenter Presenter of FA WSL and Football Conference
James Richardson Presenter Host of Sunday Night Football
Danny Baker Presenter Host of Baker and Kelly's V.S.P.O
Danny Kelly Presenter Host of Baker and Kelly's V.S.P.O
Paul Dempsey Presenter Presenter of foreign football coverage
David James Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
Steve McManaman Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
David Ginola Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
Owen Hargreaves Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
Rio Ferdinand Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
Stephen Craigan Pundit Scottish football pundit
Mark Craighton Pundit Football Conference pundit
Martin Allen Pundit Football Conference pundit
Neil Warnock Pundit Pundit for Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League coverage
Julien Laurens Pundit Sunday Night Football pundit
James Horncastle Pundit Sunday Night Football pundit
Raphael Honigstein Pundit Sunday Night Football pundit
Joe Cole Pundit Sunday Night Football pundit
Andy Brassell Pundit Sunday Night Football pundit
Ray Stubbs Reporter Chief football reporter
Mark Halsey Commentator Premier League co-commentator
Gary McAllister Commentator Scottish football co-commentator
Michael Owen Commentator Premier League and FA Cup co-commentator
Ian Darke Commentator Premier League and FA Cup commentator
Derek Rae Commentator Scottish football commentator
Darren Fletcher Commentator Premier League and FA Cup commentator
Steve Bower Commentator Football Conference commentator
James Beattie Commentator Football Conference commentator
Adam Virgo Commentator Football Conference commentator
Peter Drury Commentator Serie A commentator

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.

    : Match that is not a Saturday, 12:45 kick off

^1 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United was switched from 30 November due to the home team's Europa League commitments.

Rugby union coverage[edit]

BT Sport has exclusive live rights to the Aviva Premiership, and shares live coverage of the Rugby Champions Cup with Sky Sports. Aviva Premiership coverage runs until the 2016/17 season and sees BT Sport broadcast up to 69 games per season. The coverage is presented by Craig Doyle, Sarra Elgan and Martin Bayfield. Lawrence Dallaglio, Austin Healey, Matt Dawson and Ben Kay act as pundits and co-commentators alongside Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn.

A list of on-air rugby union personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Craig Doyle Presenter Presenter of Premiership Rugby and Rugby Tonight
Jill Douglas Presenter Presenter of Top 14 coverage
Sarra Elgan Presenter Presenter of Rugby Tonight and live match reporter
Martin Bayfield Presenter Presenter of Rugby Tonight and live match reporter
Lawrence Dallaglio Pundit Also provides commentary
Austin Healy Pundit Also provides commentary
Matt Dawson Pundit Also provides commentary
Ben Kay Pundit Also provides commentary
Nick Mullins Commentator Premiership Rugby commentator
Alistair Eykyn Commentator Premiership Rugby commentator
Martin Gillingham Commentator Top 14 commentator
Andrew Cotter Commentator Top 14 commentator

MotoGP coverage[edit]

On 9 May 2013, BT announced that they had acquired the exclusive UK TV rights to MotoGP along with the Moto2 and Moto3 championships. Craig Doyle hosts alongside pundits James Toseland and Neil Hodgson. Commentary is provided by Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder with additional commentary from Matt Birt.

Gavin Emmett, former World Feed commentator would take up the role of BT Sport's MotoGP reporter. Craig Doyle will also host a weekly magazine show called MotoGP Tonight, co-hosted by former Olympic athlete and bike fanatic, Iwan Thomas.

On 30 May 2014, BT Sport announced that they and Melanie Sykes had parted company, with Craig Doyle being chosen to take the helm of race shows and Abi Griffiths becoming permanent host of qualifying shows.

A list of on-air MotoGP personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Melanie Sykes Presenter Former host of qualifying and race shows
Chris Hollins Presenter Guest presenter when Sykes was not available
Craig Doyle Presenter Host of race shows and MotoGP Tonight
Abi Griffiths Presenter Host of qualifying shows
Iwan Thomas Presenter Co-host of MotoGP Tonight
James Toseland Pundit Regularly, but not always present
Steve Parrish Pundit Regularly, but not always present
Troy Corser Pundit Only featured at Grand Prix of the Americas
Jeremy McWilliams Pundit Only featured at Spanish Grand Prix
James Haydon Pundit
Scott Smart Pundit
Neil Hodgson Reporter Also works as commentator during practice
Gavin Emmett Reporter Also works as commentator during practice
Keith Huewen Commentator
Julian Ryder Commentator
Matt Birt Commentator Also works as reporter and MCN
Ben Spies Commentator Only featured at Grand Prix of the Americas

Bold indicates original member of the team.

Tennis coverage[edit]

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.

A list of on-air tennis personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Lynsey Hipgrave Presenter
Sam Smith Presenter
Martina Navratalova Pundit
Anne Keothavong Pundit
Alastair Eykyn Commentator
Nick Mullins Commentator
Nigel Sears Commentator

UFC coverage[edit]

A list of on-air UFC personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Caroline Pearce Presenter Also acts as a reporter
Gareth A Davies Pundit
Christian O'Connell Pundit
James Haskell Reporter

Motorsport coverage[edit]

BT Sport has rights to numerous British, European, American and global motorsport series both in live and highlights form. MotoGP is the biggest series for BT Sport with them being the exclusive live rights holders in the UK. 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.

IndyCar coverage on BT Sport is usually just world feed pictures and commentary but for the blue ribbon event, the Indianapolis 500, BT had a studio based build up including one presenter and five pundits.

Other live series include the World Rally Championship, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and V8 Supercars where the world feed is taken directly from the host broadcaster.

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.

Additional motorsport coverage on BT Sport is the regular magazine programme, Motorsport Tonight. This airs every Tuesday whenever MotoGP Tonight is not on and reviews the world of motorsport including many highlights of events on BT Sport and guests from the world of motor racing.

A list of on-air motorsport personalities on BT Sport:

Name Role Additional Info
Abi Griffiths Presenter Presenter of Motorsport Tonight
Ben Evans Commentator Commentator on World Series by Renault
Keith Collantine Commentator Commentator on World Series by Renault

This list does not include those from world feed productions shown on BT Sport

Magazine shows[edit]

  • BT Sports Panel - Usually presented by Tim Lovejoy and former rugby union player, Matt Dawson, this Saturday morning show features a panel of three sporting athletes from a wide range of sports to discuss their sporting careers. The show, starting at 09:30 every Saturday morning also features sporting demonstrations to inspire the younger generation. Other hosts have been Helen Skelton, Martin Bayfield, Anne Keothavong and Denise Lewis.
  • SportsHUB - Formerly known as BT Sport Live, this show airs every weekday night to take a look at the world of sport and all the breaking news headlines. Presented by two sports journalists including Vassos Alexander, Chris Hollins, Caroline de Moraes and Lynsey Hipgrave, the desk will be filled by guests from different sports. Mondays and Fridays are almost wholly dedicated to the Barclays Premier League with Darrell Currie joined by Neil Warnock.
  • Life's a Pitch - Airing Mondays to Thursdays at 10pm, Des Kelly goes behind the headlines to uncover the stories shaping the world of sport, with top name sporting and celebrity guests on every show. The nightly show also takes a look at the world of music with regular live performances.
  • European Football Show - Reviewing all the action from club football on the continent, James Richardson is joined by a lively panel of football journalists and players to dissect the game. The panel will take on France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A every Sunday evening.
  • Baker and Kelly's V.S.P.O - Presented by Danny Baker and Danny Kelly, the reunited TV pair host their "Vaguely Sporting Phone-Out" every Friday evening. They aim to spread their love for football my chatting about the music, memories and all there is to love about football.
  • Rugby Tonight - Wednesday's at 8pm sees Craig Doyle, Martin Bayfield and Sarra Elgan present a lively debate about rugby union. Their guests include a vast array of former players who feature right across the broadcasters rugby coverage and they all review and preview the Aviva Premiership and Frances Top 14. The show also includes a lot of high octane fun challenges.
  • The Clare Balding Show - Originally airing on mid-week evenings, Clare Balding's sporting chat show now airs regularly on Saturday nights and features a sofa full of sporting athletes. In the broadcaster's bid to focus on female sport, Balding aims to feature a female guest on every show. She is joined by Christian Howes who provides a statistical look at sport and a packed in house live audience who provide questions for the guests.
  • MotoGP Tonight - Presented by Craig Doyle and Iwan Thomas every Tuesday night following a race weekend, all angles of MotoGP and motorbike racing is covered, along with lively chat and discussion 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 to discuss all the big stories. Highlights are also shown of motorsport events broadcast on BT Sport.
  • UFC: Beyond The Octagon
  • Boxing Tonight

Sports rights[edit]

Here is a list of the major sports rights BT Sport has announced to date.[28]

League Name Nationality Broadcast Details
Premier League England Wales 38 live games per season until 2016
FA Cup England Wales 25 live games per season until 2014
Football Conference England Wales 30 live games per season until 2015
FA Trophy England Wales from 2014–15 season
FA Youth Cup England Wales (Semi Final & Final both legs) until 2017-18
FA Community Shield England Wales Live until 2018
England national under-21 football team England all home matches in UEFA U21 championships 2015 qualifiers
Serie A Italy Up to 380 live games per season
Bundesliga Germany 115 live games per season until 2017
German Cup Germany
Ligue 1 France Up to 380 live games per season
Coupe de France France
Primeira Liga Portugal
Brasileirão Brazil Up to 100 live games per season
Paulistão Brazil Up to 100 live games per season
Major League Soccer United States Canada Up to 99 live games per season
UEFA Champions League Europe Exclusive live rights from 2015–16 season
UEFA Europa League Europe 25 live games per season until 2015, exclusive live rights from 2015–16 season
Copa Libertadores South America
A-League Australia New Zealand
Scottish Professional Football League Scotland England 30 live games until 2017
FA WSL England 12 live games per season
Rugby Union
League Name Nationality Broadcast Details
Aviva Premiership England Up to 69 live games per season until 2016–17
Top 14 France
Sevens Rugby United Nations
European Rugby Champions Cup Europe Joint deal with Sky Sports starting 2014–15
Series Name Nationality Broadcast Details
MotoGP United Nations Live until 2018
World Rally Championship United Nations Live in 2014
IndyCar United States Live in 2014
V8 Supercars Australia Live in 2014
World Series by Renault United Nations Live in 2014
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters Germany Live in 2014
Blancpain Endurance Series United Nations Live in 2014
Blancpain Sprint Series United Nations Live in 2014
International GT Open United Nations Live in 2014
British Formula Three Championship United Kingdom Highlights in 2014
BRDC Formula 4 Championship United Kingdom Highlights in 2014
European Le Mans Series Europe Highlights in 2014
NASCAR United States Highlights in 2014
FIA European Formula Three Championship Europe Highlights in 2014
EuroV8 Series Europe Highlights in 2014
United SportsCar Championship United States
NHRA United States
Other sports
League Name Sport Nationality Broadcast Details
Major League Baseball Baseball United States Canada
National Basketball Association Basketball United States Canada
Major League Lacrosse Lacrosse United States Canada
X Games Multi-sport event United States
WTA Tennis United Nations Live until 2016
Queen's Club Championships Tennis United Kingdom
UFC Mixed martial arts United States
Glory Kickboxing Singapore
Friday Night Fights Boxing United States
World Series Boxing Boxing United Nations
Caribbean Premier League Cricket West Indies Cricket Board
Revolution Cycling England
Australian Football League Australian rules football Australia
Euroleague Basketball Basketball Europe


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External links[edit]