BT Sport launches today as Sky Sports rival

BT Sport is almost here with the UK’s latest sports broadcaster set to officially launch later this evening as a new, high-profile rival to Sky Sports.

With the first BT Sports broadcast to kick off at 6pm this evening, Thursday August 1, the subscriptions based sports channels will be free to all BT Broadband customers and will hope to succeed where others have failed in giving Sky a run for their money.

It’s finally a reality that ‘Great sport happens here’,” John Petter, Managing Director of BT Retail Consumer said. “It’s just over a year since we secured our Barclays Premier League rights and only six months since we started to build our exciting new studio in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We have some tremendously talented presenters and experts who are passionate about sport.”

Taking over from ESPN and Setanta before it, BT Sport will see a raft of high-profile, well recognised presenters such as Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding share centre stage with a selection of pundits and former athletes including Michael Owen and Matt Dawson. With a selection of Premier League games being the platform’s big draw, those signing up to BT Sport will also be able to enjoy Premiership rugby, Europa League games, UFC and WTA tennis action.

“The customers are the ones that matter and now they will be able to see the programmes for themselves,”Petter added. “We‘re convinced they’re going to like what they see, and we’re absolutely committed to making BT Sport fun, innovative and a firm favourite with the fans.”

For those not signed up to a BT broadband package, access to the BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2 channels will cost £12 per month, with the HD options adding a further £3 to the monthly fee. The first live sports event broadcast on the new channels will be tonight’s Audi Cup final between Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

While BT Sport has taken some of Sky’s prime content, securing live, exclusive access to 38 of this season’s Premier League matches, including 18 of the “top picks”, it is also looking to emulate some of the established broadcaster’s success on digital platforms.

Coinciding with the launch of the BT Sport channels, a new BT Sport app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets has also been made available for downloads. Requiring a BT ID to access, the app allows users to enjoy live streams and highlight packages whilst on the move.

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