BT has won the rights to carry 242 ‘near-live’ FA Premier League football matches per season. The three year deal covers the 2007-8, 2008-9 and 2009-10 seasons. BT has acquired the rights in a joint bid with BSkyB.
This means fans will, for the first time, be able to watch full Premiership matches on their televisions on a pay per view basis – without the need for an upfront television subscription. The matches will be offered via BT Vision, the next-generation TV service due to launch in Autumn 2006.
The successful bid will enable BT Vision customers to enjoy a range of Premiership matches, on demand. The matches will generally be available from 10 pm on kick-off day for a period of fifty hours allowing fans flexibility in terms of when they want to watch the game. It means that BT Vision, which already has access to content from such well known names as BBC Worldwide, Paramount, Endemol, DreamWorks, National Geographic Channel and Warner Music Group, also has one of the most compelling sports-entertainment offers in the UK.
Dan Marks, CEO of BT Vision, said: “We’re delighted to have won this bid. This is a landmark moment for sports viewing in the UK as BT Vision customers will have great control, convenience and choice over the games they want to watch without the need for an upfront subscription. This is a great example of the added value that BT broadband delivers.”