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 0.2% (1)
0.1% (2) (September 2014 (2014-09), 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)
Channel 527 (Extra 1)
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.

Clare Balding hosts a weekly sports talk show The Clare Balding Show assisted by Christian Howes. Des Kelly presents the magazine programme Life’s a Pitchand SportsHUB on weekday evenings. SportsHUB brings viewers up to date with the latest news, debate and information from the world of sport.

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.[15] 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.[16] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[4][17]

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.[18]

In January 2014, it was reported that BT Sport had acquired the rights to broadcast the World Rally Championship for the 2014 season.[19]

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, Australia's A-League 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, Robbie Savage and Ian Wright serve 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.

Darrell Currie presents coverage of Scottish Football with Derek Rae and Gary McAllister as commentators. Stephen Craigan and Emma Dodds complete the Scottish football coverage line-up. 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, Joey Barton and Joe Cole. Mark Clemmit is the main host along with Helen Skelton who presents little segment and reports. The main pundits are Mark Creighton, James Beattie and Adam Virgo. Steve Bower commentates.

Danny Baker and Danny Kelly also present a weekly football magazine show called Baker and Kelly's V.S.P.O. Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage also host "Fletch and Sav" every Saturday morning, and preview the weekend's upcoming football.

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, Brian O'Driscoll and Ben Kay act as pundits and co-commentators alongside Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn.

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. Coverage is presented by Lynsey Hipgrave with Martina Navratilova. Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn are the commentators.

Motorsport coverage[edit]

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

MotoGP is for BT Sport's flagship motorsports event and in addition to the main Moto GP event, BT shows 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. BT also produces a highlights programme which is broadcast on ITV4 on the Monday evening following the race. Gavin Emmett, former World Feed commentator, would take up the role of BT Sport's MotoGP reporter. Craig Doyle also hosts a weekly magazine show called MotoGP Tonight, co-hosted by former Olympic athlete and bike fanatic, Iwan Thomas.

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. 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[edit]

BT Sport shows extensive coverage of American sports, including Major League Baseball, NBA, American College Sports, Major League Lacrosse, Major League Soccer 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 ESPN UK apart from the NBA which is usually shown on one of the BT Sport channels..

Magazine shows[edit]

  • SportsHUB - Formerly known as BT Sport Live, this show airs every day 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 is 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. Broadcast weekdays at 7am, 8.15am, 7pm, 10pm and at various times at weekends.
  • 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 - Wednesdays 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.[20]

League Name Nationality Broadcast Details
Premier League England Wales 38 live games per season until 2016, Other matches Live on Sky Sports & Highlights on BBC Sport
FA Cup England Wales 25 live games per season until 2018, Share with BBC Sport who have Live Matches & Highlights
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, Highlights on BBC Sport
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, Highlights on ITV4
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, Highlights on ITV
UEFA Europa League Europe 25 live games per season until 2015, exclusive live rights from 2015–16 season, Live Matches & Highlights on ITV & ITV4
Copa Libertadores South America
A-League Australia New Zealand
Scottish Professional Football League Scotland England 30 live games until 2017, Shared with Sky Sports
FA WSL England 12 live games per season, Highlights on BBC Sport
Rugby Union
League Name Nationality Broadcast Details
Aviva Premiership England Up to 69 live games per season until 2016–17, Highlights on ITV4
Sevens Rugby United Nations Highlights on ITV4
European Rugby Champions Cup Europe Joint deal with Sky Sports starting 2014–15
Series Name Nationality Broadcast Details
MotoGP United Nations Live until 2018, Highlights on ITV4
World Rally Championship United Nations Live in 2014, Shared Live Coverage on Motors TV, Highlights on ITV4
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
Formula E United Nations Highlights in 2014, Live on ITV4
United SportsCar Championship United States
NHRA United States
Other sports
League Name Sport Nationality Broadcast Details
BDO World Darts Championship Darts United Nations Shared with BBC (exclusive evening sessions, joint final coverage.)
Major League Baseball Baseball United States Canada
National Basketball Association Basketball United States Canada
Major League Lacrosse Lacrosse United States Canada
American College Sports various sports United States
X Games Multi-sport event United States
WTA Tennis United Nations Live until 2016
Queen's Club Championships Tennis United Kingdom Shared with BBC Sport
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 Highlights on ITV4
Australian Football League Australian rules football Australia
Euroleague Basketball Basketball Europe


  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. ^ "BT bags two Sky EPG slots for sports channels". 20 November 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "BT Sport goes free". Broadband TV News. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "BT and Virgin Media sign wholesale BT Sport deal". BT Group. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  6. ^ "BT Sport free for millions of homes" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "BT Sport FAQ". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Setanta Sports adds BT Sport to its line-up". BT. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Premier League rights sold to BT and BSkyB for £3bn". BBC News. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  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. ^ "BT Group acquires ESPN’s UK and Ireland television channels business" (Press release). BT Group. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) confirms BT Sport deal". Seen It. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "BT Sport to bring MotoGP™ to British audiences from 2014". MotoGP. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "BT Sport unveils line-up of sporting talent" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Champions League: BT Sport win £897m football rights deal". BBC Sport. 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-11-09. 
  19. ^ Evans, David (2014-01-10). "World Rally Championship seals BT Sport TV deal with live coverage". Retrieved 2014-01-11. 
  20. ^ "What American sports will BT Sport show?". BT. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

External links[edit]