LONDON: BT Sport is to make its Premier League football package free for broadband customers as it ramps up its bid to challenge the long-time monopoly of Sky which has seen off every previous rival.
The new channel, which has signed Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand as a ‘football expert,’ will show MotoGP and the Women’s Super League live after the recent acquisition of UFC.
Chief executive Ian Livingston said: “UK Sports fans have had a rough deal for too long. Many have been priced out of the market but we will change this by giving away BT Sport for free with our broadband. Sports fans are the winners today.”
Customers on BT Broadband will receive the sports channel for free and have access to 38 live Premier League games, including 18 top picks, which marks the first time the league will be free and the first time the top games will be shown away from Sky Sports.
Ferdinand, who joins Premier League stars Robin Van Persie, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, said: “I’m excited about joining BT Sport. I will be doing a lot more than sitting on a sofa working as a football expert. I am going to be able to make programmes for BT Sport, not just about football, but also about other things that I am passionate about.
“I will also be continuing to turn the tables as an interviewer putting the questions to big name stars, rather than answering the questions, like I do with my interviews for #5 magazine.”
The five-year MotoGp deal, which begins in 2014, will see the channel host full coverage of Moto2, Moto3 and MotoGP, as well as qualifying and Warm Ups, which were previously on the BBC.
Manel Arroyo, managing director of Dorna Sports, said: “We’re proud that MotoGP will be part of such a huge and exciting project as BT Sport.
“I’m sure that BT Sport will provide the in-depth coverage that MotoGP deserves and in turn MotoGP will provide the sporting drama and excitement to help launch BT Sport as a major player in the TV market.
“Our new partnership comes at the perfect time, with British riders flourishing in the Championship and we look forward to our British fans being able to follow every single minute of the action.”
BT Sport will also create a second screen experience, giving fans the ability to see races from the riders’ perspective and with more interactive features showing off the most technologically advanced bikes.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, added: “The agreement with MotoGP is really exciting. We want BT Sport to offer a wide range of sports that appeal to many different audiences and MotoGP is a thrilling sport with a massive and committed fan base in the UK and Ireland.
“We believe existing fans will be thrilled with our comprehensive coverage and how we intend to develop the Moto GP brand and think we can also help the sport win many new fans.”