BT bulks out soccer rights portfolio

29 October 2012 | Posted in Broadcast, Soccer, Europe, Global, | By James Emmett

BT bulks out soccer rights portfolio

BT Vision has confirmed it has acquired broadcast rights to the top tier soccer leagues in Italy, France, Brazil and USA.

Having bought English Premier League rights in the summer, BT's new deals with Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, Brasileirão in Brazil and the USA's Major League Soccer (MLS) effectively see its new BT Sport channel taking over ESPN's soccer coverage in the UK.

All four deals will run for multiyear periods from next season. The Serie A rights include 380 live matches per season, highlights packages from each match day as well as the weekly preview show Total Italian Football and weekly review Serie A Show.

The Ligue 1 rights include 380 live matches per season, a weekly preview show and highlights packages from each match day.

The Brasileiro rights include 100 live matches per season from the Sao Paulo state league and the Brasileirão, weekly highlights shows from both competitions and TV Globo Soccer Magazine show FootBrazil.

The MLS rights include 99 matches per season.

"We are delighted to announce that we will be adding to the Barclays Premier League live games with more top quality live coverage of games from some of the top leagues in the world," said BT Vision chief executive Marc Watson.

“We believe this extra depth of live matches will help us in our aim to develop an absolutely cracking sports channel, with fantastic live action, across the top football leagues, plus rugby union and other sports to come. We’ve hired the best talent behind the camera to bring to viewers the first rate production that they’ve come to expect from a sports channel in the UK.”

Watson recently hired ex-Sky Sports executive Simon Green to head up BT Sport.
ESPN’s UK arm, meanwhile, faces an uncertain future after losing its live Premier League rights to BT and Sky. Jereon Oerlemans, the company’s vice president of TV in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, recently resigned from his position.

An interview with BT Vision chief executive Marc Watson (pictured) appeared in the October edition of SportsPro. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.

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