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SBD Global/September 19, 2012/Media

Jake Humphrey Leaves BBC To Front BT Vision's Premier League Coverage

BBC's Jake Humphrey, right, talks with Red Bull driver Mark Webber after swimming in a pool at the Monaco racetrack in 2011.
BT Vision has signed BBC Broadcaster Jake Humphrey to a four-year, £250,000 ($406,000) annual deal "to anchor its coverage of Premier League football starting next season," according to Mark Sweney of the London GUARDIAN. Humphrey recently presented part of the BBC's London Games coverage, but is best known for fronting F1. His deal with BT begins in January. Humphrey, 33, who has been "speculated as being on a salary of about £250,000," will anchor coverage of BT's 38 games per season (GUARDIAN, 9/18). In L.A., Stuart Kemp reported that Humphrey is "lined up to be the studio face of BT Vision’s Barclays Premier League programming" from the start of the '13-14 season in August. In addition to hosting live coverage of the 38 games, Humphrey will "also be involved with the channel’s other football programming." BT Vision CEO Marc Watson said: "He [Humphrey] impressed us with his willingness to get deeply involved in the development of our live football programming, and we took into account his track record of excellent presenting across many sports. He fits our plans for the new channel perfectly, and we are very excited to be working with him" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/18). Humphrey said, "I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at BT, not just because I get to fulfill a lifelong dream of presenting the Barclays Premier League, but because of the fresh perspective that BT will bring to both sport and broadcasting in this country" (London DAILY MIRROR, 9/18).

BIG BLOW FOR BBC: In London, Rik Sharma reported that losing Humphrey "is another blow" for the BBC after pundit Lee Dixon announced in July he was leaving to join rival ITV's football coverage team. BBC Dir General George Entwhistle has admitted it is "impossible to cope with the challenge from Sky and BT." Entwhistle told Radio Times, "Look at the latest BT/Sky Premier League deal, that comes in at about £6.5M ($10.5M) per football game. We are simply no longer in that class" (DAILY MAIL, 9/18).

NOT DONE WITH F1: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported that Humphrey "will continue to front F1 racing until his contract runs out at the end of the year." Humphrey "was reported to be upset" at the loss of much of the BBC's F1 coverage, but last year he told BBC Radio 1's Chris Moyles the BBC had "no option" but to accept the deal. He said: "I guess it's a money thing. The amount of money the BBC have now is not what they had to spend a few years ago" (DAILY RECORD, 9/18).
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