FOOTBALL: BT Sport signs up Fellaini and Sturridge

Everton star Marouane Fellaini and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge have teamed up to help launch BT’s new sports channels.

Fellaini, 25, and Sturridge, 23, will be rivals on the pitch for the Merseyside derby on Sunday but the duo are on the same team as BT Ambassadors and co-stars in TV ads for BT Sport.

Both players will also feature in BT Sport programmes as well as marketing and promotional materials for BT Sport, which are expected to roll out across various media outlets from May 6.

Tottenham star and PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale, plus Arsenal and England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have also signed up with BT in recent weeks.

Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie, of Manchester United, will also star in BT Sport’s TV adverts, adding to the telecoms giant’s rolecall of current Premier League stars who are helping to launch its new sports offering this summer.

Fellaini, who has scored 11 Premier League goals this season, is one of the most distinctive figures in the game, with his unruly hair and combative style.

The attacking midfielder, who has 40 caps and 5 goals for Belgium, has been the lynchpin of Everton’s successful domestic campaigns in recent seasons.

He said: “It was great to film the adverts with some of the most successful players in the Premier League.

“It’s exciting to be involved with BT Sport and I am looking forward to contributing to the programmes next season. I hope that I can bring some real insight from a player’s point of view.”

Sturridge has got off to a cracking start to his Liverpool career, scoring 7 goals in 11 Premier League games since he signed from Chelsea in January.

The England forward, who has five caps, is expected to become a pivotal player for both club and country in the coming years.

Sturridge is the only player to score for England at every representative level, from under 16s to full international.

Before signing for the Reds, Sturridge proved himself a deadly marksman for both Chelsea and Manchester City. He has scored a total of 46 Premier League goals in 153 appearances for all clubs.

Sturridge said: “These are exciting times for me. I feel that I have settled in well at Liverpool and next season I want to reach new levels on and off the pitch.

“I am looking forward to being involved in the BT Sport ads and giving the viewers some fresh insight into the game.”

BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live games from the Barclays Premier League for three years from August 2013, including 18 top picks.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “We are thrilled to have bridged the Merseyside divide and captured two stars, one from either side of Stanley Park.

“Both these guys are exactly the sort of young, distinctive talents we want to showcase.

Fans know them for their outstanding ability on the pitch, but we are also aiming to get them involved in our programmes and to offer some fresh new voices from within the top tier game.”

In addition to the Premier League, BT Sport has also secured the rights to live top tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA.

It’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and Ireland means it will also bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup, Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also provide exclusive coverage of Aviva Premiership rugby, plus 21 global tournaments from the WTA women’s tennis tour, including the end-of-season WTA Championships.

As of May 3, BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2 have appeared on the Sky EPG in channel slots 445 and 447 respectively, though they are expected to move closer to the Sky Sports channels nearer its launch date.

ESPN will continue to own and operate its channels as normal until its deal with BT is complete (anticipated July 31).

After completion, an ESPN-branded channel will continue under BT stewardship and will be bundled with the BT Sport package.

More specific details over BT Sport and ESPN’s plans, including launch date, pricing and availability, are expected to announced shortly.

Pre-register your interest in BT’s new sports channels via: btsport.com 

For further information on BT Sport: visit the FAQs section

 

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