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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