BT Announces Four-Year Deal For WTA TV Rights In U.K.
BT today announced the "latest part of its plan to become a major British sports broadcaster" by signing a deal with the WTA to show as much as 800 hours of live women's tennis a year. The four-year deal would see BT cover 21 events, including five "elite WTA tournaments." During the '13 season, the media rights "will be held jointly with previous holder Eurosport," but from '14 will be "exclusively owned by BT Sport." BT will launch two channels in July and is "building its sports profile" (INDEPENDENT.co.uk, 1/11).
The broadcaster, which acquired 38 live EPL matches last year, is "expected to earmark billions of pounds over the next decade to spend on sports rights" in a "sustained attempt to challenge Sky" (GUARDIAN, 1/11).