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SBD Global/April 17, 2013/Media

BT Vision Lays Out New Rugby Broadcast Strategy That Includes Heineken Cup

BT Vision execs "fully expect to broadcast top Heineken Cup games next year, heaping renewed pressure on European Rugby Cup organisers who have sold the TV rights to Sky," according to Robert Kitson of the London GUARDIAN. Not only has BT Sport signed a £152M ($233.62M), four-year deal to show Premiership and sevens rugby beginning in September, but it will "also be broadcasting weekly games from France's Top 14 competition." Together "there is no shortage of commercial muscle on their side." BT Vision Exec Producer Grant Best said, "Our view is that heading into 2014-15 we want to be part of that [European] competition, whatever that competition becomes. We did a deal for what we thought would involve that tournament." Lawrence Dallaglio, the first member of BT's new rugby commentary team to be unveiled, "believes there is huge scope" to introduce the rugby union to a new audience before the 2015 World Cup and "is promising a more interactive edge to the coverage" (GUARDIAN, 4/15).
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