BT Sport Acquires Broadcast Rights To Britain's Fifth-Tier Football League Conference Premier
BT Sport "has further bolstered its football portfolio after agreeing a two-year deal to show 30 live matches a season from the Conference Premier," Britain's fifth-tier football league, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The media company will broadcast 25 regular-season games, plus both legs of the playoff and semifinals and final at Wembley, from August. BT Sport "will hope the capture helps in its increasingly-bitter war with Sky, which last week announced it would show the opening day of the season free or charge in response to its rival’s 'free' football offer." BT Sport Head Simon Green said, "We are delighted that we’ve been able to invest in the non-league game and play our part in helping community clubs to flourish" (TELEGRAPH, 7/3). In London, Sunni Upal reported the latest deal "adds to BT's already impressive line-up of live football," including the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, Scottish Premier League, Bundesliga and Major League Soccer. BT has also snapped up the rights to Premiership rugby, UFC, WTA tennis and MotoGP (DAILY MAIL, 7/3). USWITCH's Oliver Folkard reported the launch of BT Sport "can provide a boost to the pub trade." BT Retail CEO Marc Watson claimed that pub landloards "will now be able to show Saturday lunchtime Premiership football more affordably." Watson noted that Saturday lunchtime is "one of the busiest periods for pubs," and "very, very important" to the economics of many businesses (USWITCH, 7/2).