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BT to spend billions in a bid to compete with Sky for sports coverage

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

January 11, 2013 | 2 min read

Over the next decade BT is expected to fork out billions of pounds on sports rights in a bid to topple Sky as the leading provider of sports coverage.

With the broadcaster launching two sports channels in July after spending £738 million on 38 live Premier League matches per season last year, the telecoms company is thought to be considering launching bids for other football prospects as they become available.

As Sky cuts back on some of its rights, to continue its increased £2.3 billion investment in Premier League football, BT is expected to target other sports, having already splashed £152 million on the club rugby deal.

BT is also set to announce a four-year deal with the Women’s Tennis Association, screening some 800 hours of live tennis a year. Brazilian, French and US football rights have also been snapped up by the telecoms provider.

Sky viewers will be able to access the new sports channels, but deals will be made available to existing BT customers, especially those subscribing to its telephone, broadband and television services.

BT has established its long term commitment to the project having signed at 10-year lease for the studios within the former International Broadcasting Centre at the Olympic Park, and striking a deal for Sunset+Vine to produce its coverage of 38 top-flight football matches and 69 Aviva Premiership rugby games.

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