The launch of BT Sport will help boost the economy by creating more than 400 new jobs across the UK, it has been revealed.
Rugby legend and TV commentator Lawrence Dallaglio has opened the BT Sport contact centre that will bring 75 new BT Sport customer service jobs to Accrington in Lancashire. BT and Lancashire County Council invested £3.2million refurbishing the former council building in Accrington, which already employs 150 people.
The new jobs in Accrington are just part of the boost to help the UK economy. More than 300 further new sales jobs will be created for BT Sport at BT’s contact centres in Canterbury, Doncaster, Truro, Warrington, Newcastle, Glasgow and Dundee. The initial launch phase will also create a further 400 short term sales opportunities for the first six months.
The launch of BT Sport, which will show 38 live Barclays Premier League matches on TV, including 18 of the top pick games previously only shown on Sky, will also safeguard the employment of 187 BT people who are being retrained to work for BT Sport customer support.
Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, said: “BT Sport is an important new chapter for us and it also promises to give a boost to the UK economy by creating hundreds of new job opportunities across the UK.
“BT Sport is about giving people more choice about what they watch, where they watch it and how much they pay.”
Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, welcomed the further investment in the county. He said: “Today’s official opening is great news for Accrington and for Lancashire as a whole.
“The jobs this centre brings offer excellent opportunities for local people and an economic boost for the area as a whole.”
Lawrence Dallaglio said: “There’s a real buzz around here as people prepare to be part of something new and exciting. Everyone is clearly highly motivated, which is key to the success of a team, whether that’s in a sporting arena or in the field of customer service.”
Lawrence will be one of the new faces of BT Sport, giving his expert’s view of the Aviva Premiership. Up to 69 live matches from the rugby union competition will be screened exclusively on BT Sport.
He added: “BT Sport has huge ambitions for rugby and I’m delighted to be involved with that from the beginning.”
BT Sport’s football coverage will be fronted by Jake Humphrey. In addition, BT has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP WTA Championships. Lawrence and Jake will be joined at BT Sport by Clare Balding, who will host a sports magazine show. The BT Sport channels will be based at the iCITY development at the Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford, London.