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)
2160p (UHDTV)
Audience share 0.08% (1)
0.10% (2)
~0.00% (Europe)
~0.00% (Showcase) (July 2015 (2015-07), 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) BT Sport ESPN
Freeview Channel 59 (Showcase)
Sky Channel 413 (1)
Channel 414 (Europe)
Channel 417 (2)
Channel 426 (ESPN)
Channel 427 (1 HD)
Channel 433 (Europe HD)
Channel 457 (2 HD)
Channel 458 (ESPN HD)
Virgin Media Channel 527 (1 HD)
Channel 528 (2 HD)
Channel 529 (Europe HD)
Channel 530 (ESPN HD)
Channel 531 (1)
Channel 532 (2)
Channel 533 (Europe)
Channel 534 (ESPN)
Channel 548 (BT Sport Freeview)
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 407 (ESPN)
Channel 409 (1)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 413 (Europe)
Channel 416 (ESPN HD)
Channel 439 (1 HD)
Channel 440 (2 HD)
Channel 443 (Europe HD)
BT Channel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (Europe)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
Channel 430 (1 HD)
Channel 431 (Europe HD)
Channel 432 (2 HD)
Channel 433 (ESPN HD)
Channel 434 (Ultra HD)
Channel 450–456 (Extra 1–7)
Channel 465–471 (Extra 1–7 HD)
Plusnet Channel 408 (1)
Channel 409 (Europe)
Channel 410 (2)
Channel 411 (ESPN)
Channel 430 (1 HD)
Channel 431 (Europe HD)
Channel 432 (2 HD)
Channel 433 (ESPN HD)
Channel 450–456 (Extra 1–7)
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 Consumer, a division 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 Virgin Media Ireland in the Republic of Ireland.

BT Sport holds exclusive live UK TV rights to 38 Barclays Premier League matches per season as well as exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, National League, Serie A, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, the Primeira Liga, the FA Community Shield, the FA Trophy, MotoGP and the Aviva Premiership. 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 the Rugby Champions Cup 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 Setanta Sports subscriptions.[6][7]

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 including the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, 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 4K television channel which will broadcast a number of events in ultra-high-definition exclusively on BT TV.[9]

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 £5 per month.[10] BT also provide broadband subscribers access to the channels via the BT Sport online player and mobile app.[11]


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.[12] 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,[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.

Clare Balding hosts a weekly sports talk show The Clare Balding Show assisted by Christian Howes which from 2015 will also be broadcast on BBC Two.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] BT Sport also broadcasts the FA WSL, A-League and programming from Red Bull Media House.[4][20]

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.[21][22]

In January 2014, it was reported that BT Sport had acquired the rights to broadcast the World Rally Championship for the 2014 season.[23][24]

On 10 February 2015, BT Sport announced they had won the rights for 42 live Premier League games for 2016-2019 (packages B and F)[25][26][27]

Football coverage[edit]

BT Sport currently has the rights to show 38 Premier League matches live a season with their packages include Saturday Lunchtime kick-offs and Mid-week fixtures. On Saturdays, Darren Fletcher and Robbie Savage start the build up to the matches from 10:00am with Fletch and Sav before handing over to Jake Humphrey with the main build-up to the fixture. Owen Hargreaves, David James, David Ginola, Steve McManaman, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Robbie Savage and Ian Wright serve as pundits with commentary from Ian Darke, Darren Fletcher and Michael Owen while Ray Stubbs acts as BT Sport's chief football reporter. The rights to the Premier League is shared with Sky Sports that have 116 live games and BBC who have highlights on Match of the Day.

BT Sport have exclusive live coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League with a launch of a new channel called BT Sport Europe becoming the new home to both competitions. New presenters and pundits were signed in order to bring better coverage with Gary Lineker becoming the face of BT Sport Europe. Jake Humphrey and Rio Ferdinand will assist him with presenting the coverage while Steven Gerrard, Harry Redknapp, Glen Hoddle, Howard Webb, Paul Scholes, Michael Owen, Steve Mcmanaman and Owen Hargreaves also join the BT Sport Europe team as pundits.[28] The highlights of the Champions League and Europa League will be shown on ITV.

BT have rights to the SPFL with 30 live games per season. Darrell Currie presents coverage of Scottish Football with Derek Rae and Gary McAllister as commentators. Stephen Craigan and Mark Guidi complete the Scottish football coverage line-up. The rights is shared with Sky Sports, who also have 30 live games per season with highlights of the SPFL on BBC Scotland.

FA Cup matches are also shown on BT Sport with 25 live games including one semi-final. The F.A. Cup BT Sport team of presenters and pundits is similar to the Premier League. The rights are shared with BBC, who show 16 live matches with the F.A. Cup Final shown live on both channels. BT Sport also have exclusive rights to show the National League with 30 live games per season with the Play-Offs also shown on BT Sport.

BT Sport also show live matches from Italy's Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga, France's Ligue One and Australia's A-League. 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 short segments 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.

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. The original Aviva Premiership coverage was until the 2016/17 season which seen BT Sport broadcast up to 69 games per season. The Aviva Premiership's viewing figures rose by 40% in TV audiences in its first season with BT Sport.[29] A new deal was signed in March 2015 to cover the Aviva Premiership until 2021 covering 80 matches a season.[30] 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.

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.[31]

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. Craig Doyle and Abi Griffiths hosts alongside pundits Colin Edwards, James Toseland and Neil Hodgson. Commentary is provided by Keith Huewen and Julian Ryder with additional commentary from Neil Hodgson. 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. Iwan Thomas hosted a 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 color commentators. Then for NBC Sports Leigh Diffey is the lap-by-lap commentator with the other commentators being Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy

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, 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.

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 by 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 Thursday 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. As of 2015 the show also airs in an edited version on BBC Two.
  • 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 - Presented by Caroline Pearce alongside Gareth A Davies
  • Boxing Tonight - Presented by Paul Dempsey
  • Fletch & Sav airing on Saturday Mornings between 10am-12pm with BT Sport Football Commentator Darren Fletcher & former footballer Robbie Savage hosted live from a Premier League ground.
  • The Football's On Live on Friday Night at 10pm presented by comedian Ian Stone

Sports rights[edit]

Here is a list of the major sports rights BT Sport has announced to date.[32]

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, ***2016-2019: 42 live matches per season (Packages B and F), 126 matches on Sky Sports and Highlights on BBC Sport[25][26][27]
FA Cup England Wales 25 live games per season until 2018, Share with BBC Sport who also have Live Matches & Highlights
National League England Wales 30 live games per season until 2018
FA Trophy England Wales from 2014–15 season
FA Youth Cup England Wales (Semi Final & Final both legs) until 2017-18, Shared with ITV4
FA Community Shield England Wales Live until 2018, Highlights on BBC Sport
U21 Premier League England Wales
England national under-21 football team England All home matches in UEFA U21 Championships 2015 qualifiers
Scottish Professional Football League Scotland England 30 live games until 2017, Shared with Sky Sports & Highlights on BBC Sport
Serie A Italy Up to 380 live games per season until 2017/18
Bundesliga Germany 115 live games per season until 2017, Highlights on ITV4
2. Bundesliga Germany
German Cup Germany
German Super 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
Swiss Super League Switzerland Liechtenstein
UEFA Champions League Europe Exclusive live rights until 2018, Highlights on ITV[24]
UEFA Europa League Europe Exclusive live rights until 2018, Highlights on ITV & ITV4[24]
UEFA Super Cup Europe Exclusive live rights from 2015–16 season
Copa Libertadores South America
A-League Australia New Zealand
FFA Cup Australia
FA WSL England 12 live games per season, Highlights on BBC Sport
Rugby union
League Name Nationality Broadcast Details
Aviva Premiership England Up to 80 live games per season until 2021 Highlights on ITV4
Premiership Rugby Sevens Series EnglandWales Highlights on ITV4
European Rugby Champions Cup Europe Joint deal with Sky Sports starting 2014–15
European Rugby Challenge 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 2015, Shared Live Coverage on Motors TV, Highlights on ITV4
IndyCar Series United States Live in 2015
V8 Supercars Australia Live in 2015
World Series by Renault European Union Live in 2015
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters European Union Live in 2015
Blancpain Endurance Series European Union Live in 2014
Blancpain Sprint Series European Union Live in 2015
International GT Open European Union Live in 2015
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
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
UFC Mixed martial arts United States Occasional events also shown on Pick TV
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 United Kingdom Highlights on ITV4
Australian Football League Australian rules football Australia
Canadian Football League Canadian football Canada
Euroleague Basketball Basketball Europe
PSA World Tour Squash United Nations World Series Events, World Championship
European Games Multi-sport event Europe Live in 2015
America's Cup World Series Sailing United Nations Live in 2015–16


  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. DMG Media. 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. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  6. ^ 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. 
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  8. ^ "BT Sport gives viewers more content with new ‘red button’ service". BT Group. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
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  10. ^ "BT Sport FAQ". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
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  13. ^ "BT signs four more live match deals with top football leagues" (Press release). BT Group. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "BT poaches Premiership Rugby rights from ESPN, Sky". Digital Spy. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "BT Group acquires ESPN’s UK and Ireland television channels business" (Press release). BT Group. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Clare Balding Show to air on BT and BBC". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  18. ^ "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) confirms BT Sport deal". Seen It. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
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  20. ^ "BT Sport unveils line-up of sporting talent" (Press release). BT Group. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Champions League: BT Sport win £897m football rights deal". BBC Sport. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ Evans, David (10 January 2014). "World Rally Championship seals BT Sport TV deal with live coverage". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c "BT Sport wins all live UK TV rights to Champions League and Europa League". BT Sport. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Sky Sports wins live Premier League rights". Sky. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  26. ^ a b Rumsby, Ben (10 February 2015). "Premier League TV deal: Sky Sports break bank to dominate £5.136bn contract". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Sky Sports wins live Premier League rights to end of 2018-19 season". Sky Sports. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "BT Sport Europe: All you need to know as Gary Lineker joins Champions League team". 
  29. ^ "Record viewing figures for Premiership Rugby". 
  30. ^ "BT Sport extend Aviva Premiership Deal". Recombu. Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "What American sports will BT Sport show?". BT. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

External links[edit]