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 0.37% (1)
0.33% (2)
0.10% (3)
0.03% (ESPN)
0.03% (Showcase) (April 2017 (2017-04), BARB)
Slogan You have to see it to believe it
Country United Kingdom, Ireland
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Headquarters Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
Sister channel(s) BT Sport ESPN
AMC from BT (UK only)
Freeview Channel 115 (Showcase HD)
Sky Channel 413 (1)
Channel 414 (2)
Channel 417 (3)
Channel 426 (ESPN)
Channel 427 (1 HD)
Channel 433 (2 HD)
Channel 457 (3 HD)
Channel 458 (ESPN HD)
Virgin Media Channel 527 (1 HD)
Channel 528 (2 HD)
Channel 529 (3 HD)
Channel 530 (ESPN HD)
Channel 531 (1)
Channel 532 (2)
Channel 533 (3)
Channel 534 (ESPN)
Channel 548 (Showcase)
BT Channel 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)
Plusnet Channel 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 TV Channel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (2)
Channel 410 (3)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
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)
Watch live (3, UK only)
Watch live (ESPN, UK only)

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.

BT Sport holds exclusive live UK TV rights to 42 Premier League matches per season and up to 75 Premiership Rugby matches as well as exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, National League, Serie A, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, the Primeira Liga, the FA Community Shield, the FA Trophy, MotoGP, the FIH Hockey World League and the Anglo-Welsh Cup. BT Sport also holds shared rights to the FA Cup with the BBC, the Scottish Professional Football League with Sky Sports and BBC Alba and rugby union Champions and Challenge Cups with Sky Sports.


On 2 May 2013, BT Sport 1 and 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.[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 were only available to BT TV subscribers in non-BT Infinity enabled areas. These were removed from the platform in 2015. BT signed a wholesale deal with Virgin Media on 15 August 2013 bringing the channels free of charge to customers in the TV XL package.[5] In Ireland BT Sport is bundled with eir Sports subscriptions.[6][7] The deal means BT Sport 1, 2, 3 & ESPN is part of the eir Sports Pack in Ireland, along with eir Sports 1 and eir Sports 2.

An interactive service, BT Sport Extra, launched in September 2014, broadcasting additional content at selected times.[8] 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 BT TV and from the red button on Sky and Virgin Media.

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 channel which will show a number of sporting events unencrypted via Freeview, 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.[9] On 4 August 2016, BT Sport Europe was renamed BT Sport 3 and BT Sport Ultra HD to BT Sport 4K UHD.

BT Sport 1 is currently offered for free for BT's broadband subscribers as 'BT Sport Lite', who may elect to view the channels via Sky, whether or not they have a Sky subscription, by having their viewing card activated. Customers who wish to view the remaining channels can subscribe to the 'BT Sport Pack' for £6 per month.[10] BT also provide broadband subscribers access to the channels via the BT Sport online player and mobile app.[11] Sky UK customers who subscribe to the 'BT Sport Pack' also have exclusive access to the AMC from BT channel.


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.[12] 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,[13] as well as Premiership Rugby.[14]

In January 2013 BT announced they will also broadcast Women's Tennis Association matches from 21 tournaments.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[4][19]

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.[20][21]

In January 2014, it was reported that BT Sport had acquired the rights to broadcast the World Rally Championship for the 2014 season.[22][23]

Football coverage[edit]

Premier League[edit]

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 BBC Sport 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 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 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm. Mark Pougatch presents BT Sport Score with co-hosts Mark Webster, Ian Stone and Jules Breach giving updates on Fantasy football and social media. Pundits on the programme include John Hartson, Matthew Upson, David James and Nigel Winterburn. The majority of Premier League matches are presented by Jake Humphrey, with Lynsey Hipgrave and Matt Smith serving as additional presenters. Commentary is provided by Ian Darke and Darren Fletcher. Co-commentators include Steve McManaman and Andy Townsend. The main studio pundits include Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves, Ian Wright, Robbie Fowler, Jermaine Jenas, Paul Scholes, Craig Bellamy and Richard Dunne. Des Kelly and Andy May are the main touchline reporters.

Vanarama National League[edit]

BT Sport has exclusive rights to the Vanarama National League covering 1 game a weekend. Mark Clemmit is the main presenter often being joined by pundits David James, Kevin Davies and Chris Hargreaves. Match commentator Steve Bower is joined by co-commentator Adam Virgo in the commentary box. Natalie Quirk is the touchline reporter.

FA Cup[edit]

ITV lost the rights to the FA Cup beginning with the 2014–15 FA Cup, terrestrial rights returned to BBC Sport, with the final being shown on BBC One while BT Sport hold the pay TV rights. Under this deal, the BBC show around the same amount of games as ITV did and still having the first pick for each round.[24]

FA Community Shield[edit]

Since 2015 BT Sport have had exclusive coverage of the FA Community Shield.

FA Trophy[edit]

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.

Scottish Premier League[edit]

BT host rights to show 30 Scottish Premier League games a season, sharing the rights with Sky Sports and BBC Alba. Darrell Currie and Richard Gordon are the presenters, with studio pundits Chris Sutton, Stephen Craigan, Terry Butcher, Michael Stewart, Ally McCoist and Kevin Thomson. Adam Summerton and Rory Hamilton are match commentators. Steven Thompson and Craig Burley join them as co-commentators. Emma Dodds and Elidh Barbour serve as the pitch-side reporters. From the 2016/17 season, BT Sport have aired a 30-minute preview show "Scottish Football Extra" before every live match. In 2017 BT Sport obtained exclusive rights to the SPL from the 2018-19 season until the 2020/21 season.[citation needed]


BT Sport have full exclusive rights to the Bundesliga. Nat Coombs presents major matches and pundits have included Steffen Freund, Dietmar Hamann and Raphael Honigstein. The match commentators are Tim Caple, Dan Mason, Dave Farrar and Angus Loughran. Don Hutchison, Danny Gabbidon, Chris Perry and Efan Ekoku all appear as co-commentators.

Bundesliga 2[edit]

BT acquire the rights to the Bundesliga 2. World feed commentary is used.

Serie A[edit]

BT also host the full exclusive rights to the Serie A. Paul Dempsey, Steve Wyeth, Wayne Boyce and Dan Roebuck are the match commentators. Co-commentators include Stewart Robson, Nigel Spackman, Tony Dorigo and Richard Hughes. James Richardson is the main presenter for major matches. Whilst the studio pundits have included David Platt, James Horncastle and Andy Brassell.

Ligue 1[edit]

BT currently have exclusive rights to Ligue 1. Brian Kerr presents major matches. Studio pundits have included Emmanuel Petit, Julien Laurens and David Ginola. John Anderson, Oliver Wilson, Seb Hutchinson and Trevor Harris are the main match commentators. Whilst Clive Allen, Kevin Gallacher, Paul McVeigh and Leroy Rosenior appear as co-commentators.

Liga NOS[edit]

BT Sport holds full exclusive rights to Portugal's Liga NOS. World feed commentary is used.

Champions League and Europa League[edit]

BT Sport has exclusive live coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League from 2015 until 2018. Gary Lineker fronts all of the Champions League action with Lynsey Hipgrave, Darrell Currie and Matt Smith also presenting coverage. James Richardson hosts the Goals Show every Champions League matchday with Julien Laurens, Raphael Honigstein James Horncastle and Andy Brassell joining as pundits to keep viewers up to date of all the scores and they can watch every goal go in live. Jake Humphrey and Mark Clemmit present the Europa League. Additional commentators and co-commentators for the competitions include Peter Drury, Jon Champion, Jim Beglin and Matt Holland. In May 2016, BT announced that they will stream the 2016 UEFA Champions League and 2016 UEFA Europa League finals live on YouTube for free, as well as showing them on BT Sport Europe and BT Sport Showcase.[25]


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

Current BT Sport football personalities[edit]


Rugby union coverage[edit]

BT Sport has exclusive live rights to the Anglo-Welsh Cup, as well as being senior broadcast partner of Premiership Rugby and shares coverage of the Champions and Challenge cups with Sky Sports. The original Aviva 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.[26] 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.[27] Subsequently, in 2017 Channel 5 announced a deal that would see them simulcast five matches per season for the remaining duration of the deal.[28] For four seasons from the 2018-19 season, BT Sport will have exclusivity of the Champions and Challenge cups broadcasting up to 134 matches per season.[29]

Craig Doyle is the main presenter of the coverage whilst Lawrence Dallaglio acts as the main match analyst. Doyle and Dallaglio present a review of the weekend's action after the last live game of the weekend every Sunday afternoon. Sarra Elgan and Martin Bayfield also present live action whilst further reporting comes from Tim Cocker and Chris Hollins. Austin Healey, Brian O'Driscoll, Ben Kay and Ugo Monye provide further punditry and co-commentary. BT Sport usually have one forward and one back acting as co-commentators on every match so one of Dallagio or Kay, along with one of Healey, Monye or O'Driscoll join Nick Mullins or Alastair Eykyn in the commentary box. Occasionally guest pundits and guest co-commentators are used.

Cricket Coverage[edit]

In August 2015, it was announced that BT Sport had claimed the rights for Australia's home matches for five years starting in the Australian 2016-17 season. This means that BT will show the Ashes Clash between England and Australia in 2017-18 with the deal also including Big Bash League fixtures as well as the Women's Ashes and Women's T20 Big Bash League.[30]

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. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, Anne Keothavong, David Mercer, Nick Mullins, Sam Smith 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 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, Craig Doyle and Gavin Emmett hosts alongside pundits Jeremy McWilliams, Colin Edwards, James Toseland and Neil Hodgson. Commentary is provided by Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder with additional commentary from Colin Edwards, James Toseland, Gavin Emmett and Neil Hodgson during practice and qualifying. BT also produces a highlights programme which is broadcast on Channel 5 on the Monday evening following the race. Gavin Emmett, former World Feed commentator, would take up the role of BT Sport's MotoGP reporter. Iwan Thomas hosted an analysis show called Chequered Flag 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 2014, 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[edit]

BT Sport shows extensive coverage of American sports, including Major League Baseball, NBA, 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 apart from the NBA which is usually shown on one of the main channels.

BDO Darts[edit]

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. Currently Matt Smith presents live coverage with Chris Mason as studio pundit. Reshmin Chowdury is roving reporter. Commentators on BT Sport Darts coverage are John Rawling, Jim Proudfoot, Vassos Alexander, Paul Nicholson, Deta Hedman and Chris Mason.

Magazine shows[edit]

  • European Football Show - James Richardson is joined by a panel of football journalists and players to discuss the games from France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A every Sunday evening.
  • Rugby Tonight - Wednesdays at 8:00 pm sees Craig Doyle, Martin Bayfield and Sarra Elgan present a debate about rugby union. Their guests include former players reviewing and previewing the Aviva Premiership and France's Top 14.
  • The Clare Balding Show - Originally airing on mid-week evenings, Clare Balding's sporting chat show now airs regularly on Thursday nights and features sporting athletes. Balding aims to feature a female guest on every show. She is joined by Christian Howes who provides a statistical look at sport and an in house live audience who provide questions for the guests. As of 2015 the show also airs in an edited version on BBC Two.[31]
  • 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
  • Football Tonight - Fridays at 10 pm sees George Lamb present a mix of football, music and entertainment.
  • BT Sport Score - Saturdays at 12:00 pm, keeps up with the latest scores across the UK presented by Mark Pougatch who is joined by various pundits.

Classic sport[edit]

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 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 archives as well as MotoGP races and BDO Darts


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External links[edit]