BT Sport renewed its exclusive rights to broadcast the National League for a further three years, until '21. The channel has been broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of English football's fifth tier since its launch in Aug. '13. The new deal will typically see one match broadcast live each match week, "normally in a regular Saturday slot." Each season, BT Sport's coverage will follow the championship race and the playoffs at Wembley through which one team gains a second promotion place into the English Football League. Match coverage is led by presenters Matt Smith and James Richardson with commentators Adam Summerton and Adam Virgo. Joining them are pundits Dean Saunders, who managed several National League clubs, and Chris Hargreaves, who managed National League side Torquay United (BT Sport).
Jamie Carragher was suspended from his pundit role on Monday Night Football and his broadcasting career at Sky Sports is "hanging in the balance" after he spat in the direction of a 14-year-old girl, according to Martha Kelner of the London GUARDIAN. Carragher reportedly will not appear on Sky Sports coverage for "at least the next week" as execs at the channel review his position. The former Liverpool defender had been due to appear on Monday's coverage of the EPL match between Stoke City and Man City "but was stood down amid growing calls for his resignation." Sky said in a statement, "Sky takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns Jamie's actions." Carragher said, "It's difficult to explain. It was a moment of madness, four or five seconds, where I've lost it. My biggest regret is for the 14-year-old girl to be caught in the middle of it. That devastates me more than anything. I've got a daughter exactly the same age and I can't say how I'd react if someone did that to her." Danish broadcaster TV3 "also dropped him" from its coverage of the ManU-Sevilla Champions League match on Tuesday (GUARDIAN, 3/12). REUTERS' Herman & Jennings reported Carragher was driving home when he "apparently became involved in a conversation with the occupants of an adjacent car." A video taken from the car "clearly shows Carragher spitting." In the video, the father of the girl can be heard shouting, "Unlucky Jamie lad. Two, one" (REUTERS, 3/12).
Totally out of order & Ive apologised personally to all the family this evening. I was goaded 3/4 times along the motorway while being filmed & lost my rag. No excuse apologies. https://t.co/ofrNfiwhYH— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) March 11, 2018
In London, Alex Richards reported when asked whether he should keep his job with Sky Sports, Carragher said, "It remains to be seen. It's obviously Sky's decision, not my decision. What I hope, not just for Sky but for the public, after 25 years in the public eye, is that five seconds of madness will not take over everything I've done up to now" (DAILY MIRROR, 3/12).
Gfinity announced all digital broadcasts for its Elite Series "will go out exclusively through Facebook" in '18. The deal comes into immediate effect for all U.K. matches in the multi-title esports competition, as well as any future territories, "but does not extend to the Australian spinoff." Facebook now holds media rights deals with four esports tournament organizers (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 3/12).
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Eleven Sports will continue its live and exclusive Serie A coverage in Poland after extending its partnership with the Italian league for a further three years through '21. The extension will include exclusive highlights and near live clips for social media (Eleven Sports).