TV: BT Sport to offer new channels to BT broadband customers at no extra cost

May 9, 2013

BT has promised to return televised sport to grassroots fans as it announces that five million BT broadband customers will able to watch the BT Sport channels free of charge when it launches on August 1.

This includes access to its three channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – which will all be packed with world class sport, including Barclays Premier League football and Aviva Premiership rugby, with additional costs for high-definition services.

Sky TV customers with a BT broadband package will also be watch BT Sport for free, while non-BT internet customers with Sky will have to pay £12 per month to access the channels.

At present, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV and Freesat customers will not be able to access to BT’s new sports channels via their television sets, although households with a BT broadband package can watch the channels online.

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BROADCASTING: Matchroom Sport seals new Sky Sports deal for fishing, pool and ping pong

April 8, 2013

Matchroom Sport has announced a new agreement with Sky Sports to continue its coverage of a wide variety of popular sporting events for a further five years.

Founded by Barry Hearn, the sports company’s new agreement guarantees nearly 200 hours of coverage from ten events on Sky Sports each year, including some of its most well-known sporting properties such as the Mosconi Cup, Fish ‘O’ Mania and the World Championship of Ping Pong.

The deal runs up to the end of 2017 and extends the long-standing relationship between the two organisations to over 25 years.

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BROADCASTING: Tony Gubba – 1943-2013

March 11, 2013

Veteran sports broadcaster Tony Gubba has died aged 69 following a short illness, his family have announced.

A long-serving member of the BBC commentary team, Gubba covered everything from World Cups to Summer and Winter Olympics in a varied and distinguished career that spanned more than five decades.

He was one of the most familiar and versatile personalities of British television sport during his career, fronting iconic BBC shows like Grandstand, Sportsnight and Match of the Day during the 1970s and 80s, and, more recently, was the voice of ITV’s Sunday night celebrity skating show Dancing on Ice.

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BROADCASTING: BT acquires ESPN’s TV channels

February 25, 2013

BT Group and ESPN have agreed a multi-million pound deal that will see the telecoms giant acquire ESPN’s UK and Ireland TV channels.

Comprising of ESPN and ESPN America, BT will also take on ESPN’s current sports rights portfolio, including live FA Cup, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League, UEFA Europa League and German Bundesliga games.

The transaction, subject to regulatory clearance, is expected to be completed at the end of July after which BT will continue to operate at least one ESPN-branded channel which is expected to form part of the BT Sport TV package that will be launched this summer.

However, ESPN’s popular archive sports channel ESPN Classic is expected to cease transmission in the UK after seven years as it not included as part of the BT/ESPN deal.

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BROADCASTING: David Oates – 1962-2013

February 3, 2013

Tributes have been paid to the respected sports broadcaster David Oates who has died suddenly at the age of 50.

Oates, who worked for the BBC for more than 25 years, died in hospital on Sunday following a short illness.

Best known for football and rugby league commentaries, he was a lifelong Blackpool FC supporter and a keen runner. He recently left BBC Sport full-time and had been working as a freelance radio journalist.

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TV: Clare Balding to front her own sports chat show on BT Sport

January 31, 2013

Award-winning sports broadcaster Clare Balding has signed up to present a unique programme for BT Sport.

The presenter, who was highly praised for her work fronting the BBC London 2012 Olympics and Channel 4’s Paralympics coverage, will present and co-produce a weekly sports magazine show that will feature interviews with major sporting names and discussion of big sporting issues.

It will also shine a spotlight on women’s sport, giving the next generation the chance to fully embrace a variety of sports and sporting stars.

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BROADCASTING: BT to base new sports channels at London’s Olympic Park

November 30, 2012

BT has chosen to make the Olympic Park broadcast centre in east London the home of its new BT Sport channels from next year.

The new Olympic Park studios will be the main headquarters and the central production hub for all the sports content that BT will offer after the telecoms giant agreed a 10-year lease to become the anchor tenant of the building, now part of iCITY.

Selected programmes will be hosted from the Olympic Park studios. In addition, some features and programming will be filmed at another iconic venue, the BT Tower.

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TV: BBC revives Superstars for Olympics special

November 14, 2012

BBC One presents a revival of the popular sporting entertainment show Superstars for a one-off spectacular Olympic special on Saturday, December 29, at 6.45pm.

Due to form part of BBC One’s Christmas schedule, Superstars 2012 sees 16 of Great Britain’s London 2012 Olympic heroes, including 10 gold medallists, competing against their Team GB team-mates in a dramatic and thrilling competition, as they vie to be crowned the two best all-round Superstars.

Gabby Logan, one of the faces of the BBC’s London 2012 Olympics coverage, will present revived programme, where she will be joined for the 90-minute special by former Olympians Denise Lewis and Iwan Thomas, who as pundits will provide their own unique spin on the action.

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BROADCASTING: BT Vision to carry British Eurosport

November 8, 2012

BT has signed a long term distribution deal to add both British Eurosport channels to the line-up of linear TV channels available on its BT Vision service.

The agreement will bring British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 to BT’s TV service, offering sports fans the chance to watch major European and international sporting events.

British Eurosport content will complement a wider sports offering soon to be available from BT Vision on the BT Sport channel to be launched in the summer of 2013.

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TV: BBC overhauls Sports Personality of the Year

October 19, 2012

The BBC will bring the curtain down on a phenomenal year for British sport in a revamped Sports Personality of the Year ceremony.

Given the calibre and number of potential candidates that 2012 has produced, the corporation has decided to extend the shortlist to 12 sportspeople, an increase from 10 in previous years.

The selection process to determine the final shortlist has also been overhauled, with former SPOTY nominees, sports journalists and broadcasters included on an expert panel that will decide the final 12.

Rounding off what has been a sensational sporting year, viewers will decide their BBC Sports Personality of the Year during the live broadcast from Excel, London, on Sunday, December 16 on BBC One.

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TV: Sports Life Stories – New series on ITV4

October 18, 2012

ITV4 is to screen a brand new eight-part documentary series in which sporting legends speak honestly and candidly about their careers.

Presented by ITV’s chief sports reporter Gabriel Clarke, Sports Life Stories chronicles the lives of many of Britain’s and the world’s best-loved sporting stars and high-achievers.

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