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SBD Global/December 23, 2013/Media

BT Sport Planning Rugby Sponsorships With Four Welsh Regions, Irish Provinces

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BT Sport "is looking to extend its sporting empire" by negotiating sponsorship deals with the four Welsh regions and four Irish provinces, as the row over next year’s European Cup "shows little sign of resolution," according to James & Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. BT sponsors both Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Pro12, with its logo on both teams’ shirts. Next season, the league’s matches "will be shown on Sky for the first time." Negotiations "are at an advanced stage." A BT source said, "BT is keen to have positive relationships with Welsh, Scottish and Irish regions so it’s no surprise that we are reaching out to them" (TELEGRAPH, 12/21). The IRISH TIMES reported talks between the six nations comprising top-level European rugby "took place in Dublin on Friday, with further discussions planned for next month." Currently, England’s 12 Premiership clubs "will not play in European competition from next season after refusing to negotiate with European Rugby Cup." Premiership Rugby "began serving a two-year notice period to quit ERC in June 2012" (IRISH TIMES, 12/22).
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