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BT Sport could pitch to steal World Cup from BBC and ITV

BT Sport could bid for the broadcast rights to future World Cup games, taking them from the BBC and ITV. 

Matches would still be broadcast live on free to view, non-subscription services like Freeview, Freesat and YouView as well as pay TV platforms like Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV, not to mention BT’s own TV platform. 

The BT Sport brand would however receive a boost in profile, which BT chief executive Marc Watson argues would lead to more people signing up for BT broadband. 

BT Sport could pitch to steal World Cup from BBC and ITV
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Read Recombu Digital’s guides to BT Sport and how to get itSpeaking to The Guardian, Watson pointed to a recent surge in TV and broadband subscriptions following the launch of BT Sport and revealed that the £897 million spent on securing Champions League rights was just the beginning. 

Watson said: “We have been able to afford some pretty eye-watering sums because it drives a position in a big and lucrative market, and we are in a position to invest more. 

“They [Fifa] are welcome in my office any time. We will look at all opportunities but I think getting the World Cup off BBC and ITV would be a challenge.” 

Fifa has already given BT the go ahead to bid for World Cup coverage and the broadcaster has been keen to give Freeview viewers a taste of BT Sport. 

As all World Cup games apart from qualifiers are listed events BT will be required to show games on Freesat as well, something which it hasn’t yet done. 

When asked about Premier League games, Watson didn’t comment on whether BT would bid for greater coverage but said that he sees BT Sport as being a strong second broadcaster alongside Sky Sports. 

BT Sport has the rights to broadcast 38 Barclays Premier League games over the next three seasons while Sky Sports has the rights to the remaining 116. 


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