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BT Vision to show live premiership football

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

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BT Vision to show live premiership football

75 per cent of all FA Premiership football matches to be shown in full on BT Vision - Partnership with Setanta to ensure BT Vision customers get the best in live sport

BT Vision customers will have access to live FA Premiership football from next season, it was announced today. BT has reached a groundbreaking agreement with leading pay TV sports broadcaster, Setanta, to offer the best of its live sports content on BT’s next generation television service. Combined with BT’s existing FA Premiership rights, the deal means that BT Vision customers can watch three quarters of all next season’s Premiership matches in full.

BT Vision Sport will be offering Setanta’s new sports channel, Setanta Sports, from next summer. This channel will show 46 live FA Premier League games, 60 live Scottish Premier League games, live Nationwide Conference games and other European football Leagues. There will also be access to PGA golf and many other sports.

BT’s service will also include BT’s own on-demand sports content. BT already has rights to 242 "near live" FA Premiership matches meaning BT Vision Sport customers will be able to watch 288 Premiership matches in full – 75 per cent of the season’s 380 games.

BT Vision customers will also have the unique choice between tuning into the 46 live broadcasts or taking advantage of broadband-powered on-demand TV to select their own viewing schedule. This added choice, convenience and control for customers is the crucial advantage of broadband-powered TV over traditional broadcasting.

The agreement embodies a substantial partnership between BT and Setanta. In addition, the two parties are set to explore further opportunities for collaboration in the future.

The service will operate using a conditional access smart card connected to BT Vision's set top box. Customers will be able to subscribe to BT Vision Sport for live programming and BT's "near live" content will also be available on pay-per-view only should customers prefer. The highly competitive pricing will be announced closer to Setanta Sport’s launch in 2007.

Dan Marks, CEO of BT Television, said: "We’ve said that BT Vision will be offering the best in all-round entertainment and this includes the very best of sport. This partnership with Setanta means BT Vision will provide customers with unparalleled coverage of both live and on-demand sport and we’re looking forward to exploring many more sports opportunities together".

Mark Mohan, Group Commercial Director, Setanta Sports, said: "Setanta is pleased to be able to offer our premium sports content to BT Vision customers, ensuring that they have access to live Barclays Premiership football, Scottish Premier League, US PGA Tour Golf, Football Conference, top European football and much more. Setanta Sports is building a solid foundation in the UK pay-tv market and this deal cements our position as a leading broadcaster of top-flight sports programming."

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