BT has won the rights to screen 38 of the best Premier League matches each season for three years, starting from August 2013. In an exclusive interview with Life’s A Pitch’s Mike Calvin, BT Vision boss Marc Watson explains how delighted BT is to have secured these matches and why he is confident that BT will succeed where Setanta and ESPN failed in bringing live Premier League football to a wide audience.
Luton Town fan Marc is confident that BT will be showing some of the best top-of-the-table Premier League games from 2013. “We’ve got half the best games for less than a quarter of the price,” he explains.
He says that this will be the first time in Premier League history that anyone other than Sky will be showing the kind of top-of-the-table games previously the exclusive domain of the satellite broadcaster. Marc also says that BT will succeed where Setanta and ESPN failed because it is a much bigger business, with millions of existing customers, and because the communications giant will have top quality games to sell.
He hopes to be able to make the matches available to fans in the same ways they currently watch their football, whether that be via satellite or digital TV, in pubs and clubs, or over broadband via BT Vision.
Marc is particularly excited by the 12.45pm, Saturday slot that most of the BT games will occupy. “That’s a great pubs and clubs slot,” he explains. “And those games are watched by many millions over the season, so we will reach many more [fans]. We have also got some slots like Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and quality matters.”
Marc promises to introduce new content to improve the viewing experience for fans, but is clear that they will not be high-tech features that add nothing to the enjoyment of the game.
BT will be launching a dedicated sports channel to showcase the matches, but Marc is tight-lipped about any possible presenters and on what other football may be on offer as part of the channel.
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