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Jose Mourinho signs three-year deal with BT Sport as expert pundit

11 July 2014 15:51:29 Sport | Mail Online

Jose Mourinho has signed a three-year deal with BT Sport and will carry out various roles for the channel, including making football programmes, acting as an expert on the game and becoming an ambassador for the network.

Vice Sport Time11 July 2014 15:51:29


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Jose Mourinho signs three-year deal with BT Sport as expert pundit

11 July 2014 14:06:33 Football | Mail Online

Jose Mourinho has signed a three-year deal with BT Sport and will carry out various roles for the channel, including making football programmes, acting as an expert on the game and becoming an ambassador for the network.

Vice Football Time11 July 2014 14:06:33


BT vs Sky: who won the football game?

16 May 2014 08:32:35 UK Homepage

BT challenged Sky over its dominance of sports TV in the UK by aggressively bidding for rights to show football matches – has it been successful?

Vice All News Time16 May 2014 08:32:35


BT Sport's Tim Lovejoy is poster boy for game's lost soul

11 November 2013 00:55:13 Football - Fixtures, results, news, match reports, comment

Broadcaster unwittingly found the perfect person to announce a deal that heralds the end of regular free live football for all, writes Jonathan Liew.        

Vice Football Time11 November 2013 00:55:13


BT Sport's Tim Lovejoy is poster boy for game's lost soul

11 November 2013 00:43:32 Sport

Broadcaster unwittingly found the perfect person to announce a deal that heralds the end of regular free live football for all, writes Jonathan Liew.        

Vice Sport Time11 November 2013 00:43:32


BT Sport has gone toe-to-toe with Sky on the football battle ground and won - this really is the game changer

09 November 2013 13:24:53 Football - Fixtures, results, news, match reports, comment

Jason Burt: For the first time Sky have been out-bid. It has never happened before in football and BT Sport will not stop there.        

Vice Football Time09 November 2013 13:24:53


BT Sport has gone toe-to-toe with Sky on the football battle ground and won - this really is the game changer

09 November 2013 13:03:24 Sport

Jason Burt: For the first time Sky have been out-bid. It has never happened before in football and BT Sport will not stop there.        

Vice Sport Time09 November 2013 13:03:24


Sky Sports and BT Sport Christmas fixtures announced

09 October 2013 14:46:18 Football | Mail Online

Football fans will be given a treat around the Christmas period as a host of top Premier League games will be shown live on television.

Vice Football Time09 October 2013 14:46:18


Sky Sports and BT Sport Christmas fixtures announced

09 October 2013 14:13:29 Sport | Mail Online

Football fans will be given a treat around the Christmas period as a host of top Premier League games will be shown live on television.

Vice Sport Time09 October 2013 14:13:29


BT Sport reach for the Sky

18 August 2013 02:45:13 Sport | Mail Online

It's 11am at the BT Sport (BTS) studios in Olympic Park, east London, and there's a nervous excitement around the place only partly related to the new kids on the football broadcasting block kicking off the Premier League season by showing their first live Premier League game - Liverpool versus Stoke.

Vice Sport Time18 August 2013 02:45:13


BT Sport reach for the Sky

18 August 2013 01:48:59 Football | Mail Online

It's 11am at the BT Sport (BTS) studios in Olympic Park, east London, and there's a nervous excitement around the place only partly related to the new kids on the football broadcasting block kicking off the Premier League season by showing their first live Premier League game - Liverpool versus Stoke.

Vice Football Time18 August 2013 01:48:59


Greg Dyke confident for future after £200m FA Cup deal with BBC and BT

18 July 2013 04:13:17 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• New FA chairman keen to shake up organisation and test ideas • Deal has put the FA Cup 'back where it belongs', say BBC Greg Dyke, the new Football Association chairman, has said he will not be afraid to "throw a few bombs" in his role as he unveiled a new broadcasting rights deal for the FA Cup worth more than £200m that will provide a degree of financial security to his tenure. Under the contract, which runs for four years from 2014-15, FA Cup ties will be shared between the BBC and BT while ITV retains the rights to England's home matches. Dyke confirmed that meant the FA Cup final will move permanently to the a 5.15pm kick off. That late afternoon start time has proved controversial over the past two seasons, particularly this year when there were issues over transport. "I know there are some people in the FA who think that was the betrayal of a tradition but the world changed and you have to accept it," said Dyke. "The increase in the audience over those two years has been so marked. What are we here for? We're here for people to watch football and enjoy it." The FA's aggregate income for the FA Cup and England's home matches over four years is believed to be approaching the high watermark of the £425m paid by ITV and Setanta in 2007. Between them, the BBC and BT are believed to be paying significantly more than the £60m a year ESPN and ITV ended up agreeing over the past two years after Setanta went bust. BT is believed to be paying around £25m a year for its share of the package, which includes more games but no first-pick matches. The BBC's pitch included a promise to make the most of its regional, radio and digital resources to promote the FA Cup. "The BBC put in the highest bid, so they got it. But they also put in a very good pitch about what they could do across all their outlets. We're their only live football so they'll help us promote the FA Cup across their outlets, which is what we wanted," said Dyke. The BBC director general Tony Hall said the deal had put the FA Cup "back where it belongs" on the BBC, which will have first pick of the best matches in each round. "When you poll licence fee payers they say they want the big events to be on the BBC. The FA Cup is one of those big national moments. Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever," he said. Dyke's predecessor at the FA, David Bernstein, was consensual in style and brought stability to the organisation but left frustrated by his inability to drive through changes to the FA's structure. In his first interview since starting the job, Dyke said he came into the role with no preconceptions about the structural issues and political rows between the professional and amateur game that have hobbled his predecessors. "I'm one of those people who thinks everything is going to be fine. Make up your mind, decide what you're going to do and do it. Then see what happens. I was asked that question in my interview and I said exactly the same thing," said Dyke, who will immediately face pressing questions about the strength of English football following disappointing performances this summer from the under-20 and under-21 sides . "I've never been one for subtlety. There's a list of ideas and you test the ideas. My theory of management has always been to throw bombs among groups of people. I've no objection if they then say to me it's ridiculous and can't be done," added the former Manchester United director and Brentford chairman. "The job of the chairman is to give the staff confidence to come up with good ideas. The FA is here for the best interests of the game. It's here to do a range of things and I'll expand on that in some speeches over the first six months. In any organisation you've got to have priorities – what are the five things you want to do? And then you get buy in." Dyke said he had known Anthony Fry, the new Premier League chairman, for a long time and that their relationship would benefit both organisations. "I think financial fair play is a good idea," added Dyke, who formally became chairman at the weekend. "But we've now got six different versions of it and what I'm trying to do is get my head around it. What you want to try and work out is which is the most effective." Dyke said that in contrast to when he began at a demoralised BBC, where there was "a very unhappy staff who hadn't liked my predecessor" he was "amazed" that the FA was such a "smiley, happy place". It will be intriguing to see how long that view lasts. The FA FA Cup Greg Dyke Business BBC BT Sport Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds      

Vice All News Time18 July 2013 04:13:17


Dyke delight in FA's £200m TV deal

18 July 2013 04:12:07 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• New FA chairman keen to shake up organisation and test ideas • Deal has put the FA Cup 'back where it belongs', say BBC Greg Dyke, the new Football Association chairman, has said he will not be afraid to "throw a few bombs" in his role as he unveiled a new broadcasting rights deal for the FA Cup worth more than £200m that will provide a degree of financial security to his tenure. Under the contract, which runs for four years from 2014-15, FA Cup ties will be shared between the BBC and BT while ITV retains the rights to England's home matches. Dyke confirmed that meant the FA Cup final will move permanently to the a 5.15pm kick off. That late afternoon start time has proved controversial over the past two seasons, particularly this year when there were issues over transport. "I know there are some people in the FA who think that was the betrayal of a tradition but the world changed and you have to accept it," said Dyke. "The increase in the audience over those two years has been so marked. What are we here for? We're here for people to watch football and enjoy it." The FA's aggregate income for the FA Cup and England's home matches over four years is believed to be approaching the high watermark of the £425m paid by ITV and Setanta in 2007. Between them, the BBC and BT are believed to be paying significantly more than the £60m a year ESPN and ITV ended up agreeing over the past two years after Setanta went bust. BT is believed to be paying around £25m a year for its share of the package, which includes more games but no first-pick matches. The BBC's pitch included a promise to make the most of its regional, radio and digital resources to promote the FA Cup. "The BBC put in the highest bid, so they got it. But they also put in a very good pitch about what they could do across all their outlets. We're their only live football so they'll help us promote the FA Cup across their outlets, which is what we wanted," said Dyke. The BBC director general Tony Hall said the deal had put the FA Cup "back where it belongs" on the BBC, which will have first pick of the best matches in each round. "When you poll licence fee payers they say they want the big events to be on the BBC. The FA Cup is one of those big national moments. Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever," he said. Dyke's predecessor at the FA, David Bernstein, was consensual in style and brought stability to the organisation but left frustrated by his inability to drive through changes to the FA's structure. In his first interview since starting the job, Dyke said he came into the role with no preconceptions about the structural issues and political rows between the professional and amateur game that have hobbled his predecessors. "I'm one of those people who thinks everything is going to be fine. Make up your mind, decide what you're going to do and do it. Then see what happens. I was asked that question in my interview and I said exactly the same thing," said Dyke, who will immediately face pressing questions about the strength of English football following disappointing performances this summer from the under-20 and under-21 sides . "I've never been one for subtlety. There's a list of ideas and you test the ideas. My theory of management has always been to throw bombs among groups of people. I've no objection if they then say to me it's ridiculous and can't be done," added the former Manchester United director and Brentford chairman. "The job of the chairman is to give the staff confidence to come up with good ideas. The FA is here for the best interests of the game. It's here to do a range of things and I'll expand on that in some speeches over the first six months. In any organisation you've got to have priorities – what are the five things you want to do? And then you get buy in." Dyke said he had known Anthony Fry, the new Premier League chairman, for a long time and that their relationship would benefit both organisations. "I think financial fair play is a good idea," added Dyke, who formally became chairman at the weekend. "But we've now got six different versions of it and what I'm trying to do is get my head around it. What you want to try and work out is which is the most effective." Dyke said that in contrast to when he began at a demoralised BBC, where there was "a very unhappy staff who hadn't liked my predecessor" he was "amazed" that the FA was such a "smiley, happy place". It will be intriguing to see how long that view lasts. The FA FA Cup Greg Dyke Business BBC BT Sport Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time18 July 2013 04:12:07


Media Monkey's Diary: Sarah Vine, Boris Johnson, and the BBC

14 July 2013 19:31:33 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com

✒If, as expected, Sarah Vine is poached from the Times by the Daily Mail – to write a wide-ranging Lynda Lee-Potter-style column, as Allison Pearson did in her Mail stint – it will be in part a vote of confidence in her husband, Michael Gove, from Paul Dacre, the Mail's editor in chief (who seems to have a penchant for Scotsmen). Gove's robust Euroscepticism and battles with the educational establishment could make him the paper's most plausible candidate to replace David Cameron, little-liked by the Mail. Let's hope this budding bromance is not clouded by Gove's past as Michael Portillo's chief cheerleader resurfacing, or by the couple's links with the Murdoch press and Rebekah Brooks. ✒But if the plan is to build up the education secretary via his adoring wife's column, it could easily backfire. Vine's Times musings are known for their glimpses of Gove, but they are rarely heroic. She routinely depicts him as a nerd who retreats to his books whenever possible, comically unsporty (despite recently taking up golf and G&Ts) and rather unworldly. In particularly informal columns, she recalled a speech by him displaying an obsession with the size of Mick Jagger's penis, and suggested that married couples are fated to have sex only once a month, when granny has the kids. Though that, of course, could be exactly what the Mail thinks the monthly maximum ought to be. ✒Plenty of copies of the New Statesman will have been hurled across rooms last week, once stunned subscribers reached a two-page article by Darius Guppy, the convicted fraudster best known for getting Boris Johnson into hot water when they discussed (unaware the phone call was being taped) Guppy giving a hack a hiding. Guppy found a more natural home in the Spectator in the spring for an attack on Eddie Mair, after Mair's interview with Johnson; but now, bafflingly, it's the leftwing weekly that offers the "Anglo-Iranian businessman and essayist" a platform to rant about the press and describe how he recently hunted down an unnamed British journalist and tipped manure over him as punishment for a hostile article. Guppy (and Cameron-fawning GQ editor Dylan Jones) and John Pilger in the same issue: editor Jason Cowley's "big tent" policy at its stretchiest. ✒Monkey's highlights of the grilling of BBC bosses by Margaret Hodge's public accounts committee: (1) the number of the first question for current director general Tony Hall, previously mute – 149 (2) beleaguered HR boss Lucy Adams's ill-advised, Made in Chelsea-style glasses on glossy hair look – couldn't a BBC spinner have had a word? (3) Lord Patten recalling the initial response to his urging reduced executive pay and payoffs – "it went down like cold rice pudding" (4) PAC member and self-styled wannabe "Paxperson" Austin Mitchell calling himself one of the few surviving 70s TV legends not banged up (5) Patten breaking into an especially dull exchange, drily saying he was "reluctant to interrupt this Socratic dialogue". ✒Again and again, the Beeb's quartet gave essentially the same answer: you'll have to ask Mark – though these words were never used, as if Mark Thompson's name was now taboo ("you'll have to call a previous director general" was a typical coy version). Some in the press seats saw a potential for a Radio 4 panel show, or perhaps a strand of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, where each team tries to induce the other to blurt out a known catchphrase while winning points for each variation on it they come up with themselves. Mark My Words, Don't Say Thommo and No Names, No PAC Drill are among the titles being touted. ✒Sky and BT's epic football battle has now begun, and is being fought at every Premier League stadium, over every big fixture, in subscriber numbers, on-screen talent and in a war of words. But it will also be played out at the micro level, as BT are sending pubs beer mats and bar towels (with images of stars such as Joe Hart and Robin van Persie) that customers can scan to activate match video highlights on their smartphones. Redecorated loos, allowing them to pee on Rupert Murdoch and Sky commentators, are confidently expected to follow. ✒ Monkey hears of mutterings over ITV's plans for Arrivals and Departures, a documentary series about emotional airport encounters, made by Wall to Wall. Why so? Because some detect a similarity with Sky's existing show Hello Goodbye, about emotional airport encounters, fronted by Kate Thornton and made by Lion TV. Seasoned observers, though, are ruling out meetings with m'learned friends, and even protests: as Lion and Wall to Wall are both All3Media companies, they're part of the same vast, loving family. ✒ In a virtuoso bit of jargon riffing, the Future group (which has already evidently banished the olde worlde word "magazine") explained on Friday why it was dropping "the title Publisher from job roles". All because the company "continues to transition" (ouch!) towards becoming predominantly digital, and abandoning the "outmoded job title" reflects "our re-positioning away from a platform-focused structure" (aargh!) to "a more audience-based approach". The ex-publishers now become heads of things – lucky Lee Nutter, for example, is Head of Games – but there must be concern that these labels will soon be obsolete too – don't they reflect an outmoded, brain-focused structure where minds controls self, rather than a digital, creative, 360-degree, full body-based approach? ✒ With the 40th anniversary of commercial radio's birth in the UK approaching, RadioCentre, the industry's trade body, has begun banging the drum by drawing up a "roll of honour" of the 40 most illustrious figures associated with ad-funded audio. The more cynical guests at the ceremony could not help noticing that the four-strong selection committee managed to select themselves for the squad (which was dominated by suits, though naturally including the likes of Chris Tarrant and Chris Evans); and there were questions too about gaps, in a list that found room for the person who devised diary-based audience measurement – where, for example, were Capital's Kenny Everett or Brian Hayes, or a long-serving DJ from Classic FM, the first national station? Boris Johnson BBC BT Sport Sky Sports Michael Gove Daily Mail Monkey guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time14 July 2013 19:31:33


The Fiver | www.contrabandsmut.eu/bootlegfitba | Scott Murray

11 July 2013 17:18:11 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arriving DISCLAIMER: OTHER ILLEGAL FEEDS ARE AVAILABLE Professional football is both written about and marketed from the perspective of those who go to the game. A match report may mention the sweet smell of the freshly watered pitch as it's warmed by a sultry late-summer sun; an advert might pan across a crowd as they bounce up and down while singing their song. It's all, needless to say, an entirely disingenuous affair. That's partly because crowds are mainly silent these days, partly because the top notes of eau de Premier League are less redolent of well-manicured turf, more stale lager, soupy urine and the overwhelming stench of existential despair. But mainly it's because most of us have been sh@fted by capitalism, and we simply can't afford to attend top-flight football these days, instead condemned to spending our weekends sitting hunched in front of the computer in a string vest and suspiciously stained jeggings squinting at a dodgy feed and straining our ears so we can cobble together the West Bromwich Albion team news from Egyptian Arabic. We're pretty sure it's not just the Fiver who spends each and every weekend doing exactly that. So for those of us who consume the game solely through television, via proxy servers also loaded up with the finest premium bongo, today was an important day, as the opening tranche of live fixtures for this year's Premier League was announced. And that announcement brought bad news for Liverpool fans, whose season will be over before anyone else has even kicked a ball. They get the 2013-14 campaign started early doors on 17 August with a disappointing lunchtime draw at Anfield against Stoke City, the first match to be transmitted on the new BT Sport service, and simulcast on www.glamourandillegalsubscriptionsoccer.com. A very super Super Saturday continues over on the more established Sky Sports, who later in the evening transmit a fixture between Swansea City and Manchester United that'll also be broadcast on www.contrabandsmut.eu/bootlegfitba. The first stellar clash of the televised season comes 10 days into the new campaign as Manchester United host Chelsea on Sky (and also at www.indecencies-u-like.co.uk/flagrantcopyrightviolation), a match which will chart the beginning of David Moyes's rapid descent into raging paranoia and jabbering madness, or the beginning of José Mourinho's rapid descent into raging paranoia and jabbering madness. Before then, all three promoted sides will have already had their fresh-faced phizogs on the telly: Crystal Palace hosting Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City travelling to Chelsea on the first Sunday, then Cardiff City and Manchester City putting on a joint production of The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus a week later. The big TV events keep coming thick and fast, though the Fiver doesn't have the time, room or inclination to go through every one up until December. A quick scout around on Google should bring up a comprehensive list , though be careful kids, the internet is a wild frontier containing some very dubious content; it's not all innocent stuff like live football, clips of cats and dogs peering out of toilet bowls, and retro grot. QUOTE OF THE DAY "I don't have any kids, so I thought 'why not'. Realistically, the alternative was going to be somewhere like Accrington" – journeyman midfielder Bas Savage comes to the conclusion that he'd rather ply his trade in Bangkok than Lancashire. FIVER LETTERS "Is it just me, or is anyone else filled with a strange foreboding when David Moyes claims he's been to Wayne Rooney's house (yesterday's Bits and Bobs)? Somehow I'm struck by the image of a shaking Wayne peering through his window curtains on a dead summer night, while a jet-black car idles threateningly across the drive. He looks out as the tinted window slowly rolls down, revealing Moyes' cold, unblinking, pitiless eyes. Then the engine roars, and before Wayne can jump back the car surges down the road, disappearing into the Stygian dark. Man. And they say the off-season isn't exciting" – Scott Connolly. "Shahid Khan in charge of Fulham ( yesterday's Fiver )? That may still provide its share of entertainment. If you had looked at sports news from over the pond (I know, but bear with me) recently you would have noticed that one of Mr Khan's ideas for improving woeful attendances at his Jacksonville Jaguars games is, and I'm not making this up, showing TV coverage of the other games in the NFL on the giant screens in the stadium during Jaguars games. The NFL of course having cracked the conundrum that apparently confounds the best minds of the Premier League, of selling TV rights and sticking to traditional kick-off times without fail. Imagine if he tried a similar scheme at Fulham. The Premier League would likely disappear up its own tailpipe trying to decide who to sue for copyright breach" – Jason Tew. "Enough endless transfer speculation and strategic leaks from players' Mr15%s: why can't Big Website liven up the off-season with the occasional minute-by-minute report from a Nigerian promotion battle (Fivers passim)? Just reading the list of goalscorers would see us nicely through most of the summer" – Justin Kavanagh. "Re: Seattle Sounders interior designer Obafemi Martins upholstering his gold-plated dining room chairs with tops from his seven previous clubs (yesterday's Bits and Bobs). Any word on the size of auditorium in LA Robbie Keane will need to install in house to do the same job?" – Padraic Cassidy. "On the basis of the final item on Theo Walcott's high hopes for Arsenal in yesterday's Bits and Bobs, can I suggest that you introduce a full-scale Sky Sports-style 'Footballers Who Say In Interviews That Their Team Will Do Well This Season' section in the Fiver in future. You could probably replace most of the usual stuff with it. Which would probably be as much of a relief to you as to us. PS: am I the only one wondering whether Yohan Cabaye might end up joining big-lunged elderly relative Montserrat in Barcelona, or are there 1,056 others?" – Nick Drew. • Send your letters to the.boss@guardian.co.uk . Also, if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver . Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: Nick Drew. JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you. BITS AND BOBS Wilfried Bony, em, has joined Swansea

Vice All News Time11 July 2013 17:18:11


The Fiver | www.contrabandsmut.eu/bootlegfitba | Scott Murray

11 July 2013 17:12:04 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arriving DISCLAIMER: OTHER ILLEGAL FEEDS ARE AVAILABLE Professional football is both written about and marketed from the perspective of those who go to the game. A match report may mention the sweet smell of the freshly watered pitch as it's warmed by a sultry late-summer sun; an advert might pan across a crowd as they bounce up and down while singing their song. It's all, needless to say, an entirely disingenuous affair. That's partly because crowds are mainly silent these days, partly because the top notes of eau de Premier League are less redolent of well-manicured turf, more stale lager, soupy urine and the overwhelming stench of existential despair. But mainly it's because most of us have been sh@fted by capitalism, and we simply can't afford to attend top-flight football these days, instead condemned to spending our weekends sitting hunched in front of the computer in a string vest and suspiciously stained jeggings squinting at a dodgy feed and straining our ears so we can cobble together the West Bromwich Albion team news from Egyptian Arabic. We're pretty sure it's not just the Fiver who spends each and every weekend doing exactly that. So for those of us who consume the game solely through television, via proxy servers also loaded up with the finest premium bongo, today was an important day, as the opening tranche of live fixtures for this year's Premier League was announced. And that announcement brought bad news for Liverpool fans, whose season will be over before anyone else has even kicked a ball. They get the 2013-14 campaign started early doors on 17 August with a disappointing lunchtime draw at Anfield against Stoke City, the first match to be transmitted on the new BT Sport service, and simulcast on www.glamourandillegalsubscriptionsoccer.com. A very super Super Saturday continues over on the more established Sky Sports, who later in the evening transmit a fixture between Swansea City and Manchester United that'll also be broadcast on www.contrabandsmut.eu/bootlegfitba. The first stellar clash of the televised season comes 10 days into the new campaign as Manchester United host Chelsea on Sky (and also at www.indecencies-u-like.co.uk/flagrantcopyrightviolation), a match which will chart the beginning of David Moyes's rapid descent into raging paranoia and jabbering madness, or the beginning of José Mourinho's rapid descent into raging paranoia and jabbering madness. Before then, all three promoted sides will have already had their fresh-faced phizogs on the telly: Crystal Palace hosting Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City travelling to Chelsea on the first Sunday, then Cardiff City and Manchester City putting on a joint production of The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus a week later. The big TV events keep coming thick and fast, though the Fiver doesn't have the time, room or inclination to go through every one up until December. A quick scout around on Google should bring up a comprehensive list , though be careful kids, the internet is a wild frontier containing some very dubious content; it's not all innocent stuff like live football, clips of cats and dogs peering out of toilet bowls, and retro grot. QUOTE OF THE DAY "I don't have any kids, so I thought 'why not'. Realistically, the alternative was going to be somewhere like Accrington" – journeyman midfielder Bas Savage comes to the conclusion that he'd rather ply his trade in Bangkok than Lancashire. FIVER LETTERS "Is it just me, or is anyone else filled with a strange foreboding when David Moyes claims he's been to Wayne Rooney's house (yesterday's Bits and Bobs)? Somehow I'm struck by the image of a shaking Wayne peering through his window curtains on a dead summer night, while a jet-black car idles threateningly across the drive. He looks out as the tinted window slowly rolls down, revealing Moyes' cold, unblinking, pitiless eyes. Then the engine roars, and before Wayne can jump back the car surges down the road, disappearing into the Stygian dark. Man. And they say the off-season isn't exciting" – Scott Connolly. "Shahid Khan in charge of Fulham ( yesterday's Fiver )? That may still provide its share of entertainment. If you had looked at sports news from over the pond (I know, but bear with me) recently you would have noticed that one of Mr Khan's ideas for improving woeful attendances at his Jacksonville Jaguars games is, and I'm not making this up, showing TV coverage of the other games in the NFL on the giant screens in the stadium during Jaguars games. The NFL of course having cracked the conundrum that apparently confounds the best minds of the Premier League, of selling TV rights and sticking to traditional kick-off times without fail. Imagine if he tried a similar scheme at Fulham. The Premier League would likely disappear up its own tailpipe trying to decide who to sue for copyright breach" – Jason Tew. "Enough endless transfer speculation and strategic leaks from players' Mr15%s: why can't Big Website liven up the off-season with the occasional minute-by-minute report from a Nigerian promotion battle (Fivers passim)? Just reading the list of goalscorers would see us nicely through most of the summer" – Justin Kavanagh. "Re: Seattle Sounders interior designer Obafemi Martins upholstering his gold-plated dining room chairs with tops from his seven previous clubs (yesterday's Bits and Bobs). Any word on the size of auditorium in LA Robbie Keane will need to install in house to do the same job?" – Padraic Cassidy. "On the basis of the final item on Theo Walcott's high hopes for Arsenal in yesterday's Bits and Bobs, can I suggest that you introduce a full-scale Sky Sports-style 'Footballers Who Say In Interviews That Their Team Will Do Well This Season' section in the Fiver in future. You could probably replace most of the usual stuff with it. Which would probably be as much of a relief to you as to us. PS: am I the only one wondering whether Yohan Cabaye might end up joining big-lunged elderly relative Montserrat in Barcelona, or are there 1,056 others?" – Nick Drew. • Send your letters to the.boss@guardian.co.uk . Also, if you've nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver . Today's winner of our prizeless letter o' the day prize is: Nick Drew. JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you. BITS AND BOBS Wilfried Bony, em, has joined Swansea

Vice All News Time11 July 2013 17:12:04


Sky claims rights to top-four clashes as BT holds first picks in reserve

11 July 2013 16:29:16 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• Sky has exclusive rights to every game among top four • BT Sport coverage kicks off with Liverpool v Stoke City With pointed reference to the omnipresent multimillion pound advertising campaign launched by BT Sport, Sky Sports said there was nothing "game-changing" about the initial tranche of fixtures chosen by its new rival as both unveiled their opening batch of matches. Sky has attempted to spike the guns of its new competitor by choosing the first matches of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City – all of whom have new managers – on the opening weekend of the season. BT, meanwhile, will open the campaign with Liverpool v Stoke City in its new Saturday lunchtime slot and is not able to use one of its much vaunted "first picks" until mid-September when Manchester United take onnewly promoted Crystal Palace. Sky can claim to has exclusive rights to every clash among last season's top four, plus 24 of 32 live matches involving Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal up to the beginning of December. However, BT executives insisted they were "thrilled" by the games they have secured, which include the Merseyside derby. "We have only used five of our top picks, which means that BT Sport will have another 13 throughout the remainder of the season, so our viewers have many more excellent Premier League games to come," said BT Sport director Simon Green. "In the first 13 Premier League rounds until December, we will show the biggest clubs at least twice including Tottenham taking on serious title contenders in both matches, against Manchester United and Chelsea." BT only has fourth pick of the live matches on 20 rounds of the fixture list but first pick on the other 18, making it the first broadcaster to be able to challenge Sky's claim always to show the biggest clashes. BT, which paid £738m over three years for 38 matches per season, will give its channels away free to its broadband subscribers. Sky has countered by making the opening day of its coverage available free to air for the first time, including David Moyes' first match against Swansea City at Old Trafford. In all, Sky will show 116 live matches having agreed to pay £2.3bn over three seasons for the privilege. Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis denied that its tactic of frontloading the schedule with attractive matches would give BT the advantage in the run in. Sky has 12 "first pick" weekends for the remaining 20 rounds of fixtures, while BT will be left with eight. The new entrant also has a further five "first pick" slots in midweek rounds of fixtures, but they must be used before February. Behind the complex game of chess over choosing which fixtures to broadcast, which has angered supporters' groups who claim fans have not been able to plan their travel, lies a long term battle for supremacy of the sports broadcasting landscape. "BT has made no difference to our selections, there isn't anything particularly game-changing about what we're seeing today," insisted Francis, who has hired Jamie Carragher as a pundit and revamped Sky's Saturday schedule to respond to the threat from BT, which plans a live show fronted by Jake Humphrey to run throughout the afternoon. Carragher, who will appear alongside Gary Neville on Monday Night Football, said Sky had "the best team on the best lineup of live football". Premier League Sky Sports BT Sport Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time11 July 2013 16:29:16


Sky claims rights to top-four clashes as BT holds first picks in reserve

11 July 2013 16:24:52 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Sky has exclusive rights to every game among top four • BT Sport coverage kicks off with Liverpool v Stoke City With pointed reference to the omnipresent multimillion pound advertising campaign launched by BT Sport, Sky Sports said there was nothing "game-changing" about the initial tranche of fixtures chosen by its new rival as both unveiled their opening batch of matches. Sky has attempted to spike the guns of its new competitor by choosing the first matches of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City – all of whom have new managers – on the opening weekend of the season. BT, meanwhile, will open the campaign with Liverpool v Stoke City in its new Saturday lunchtime slot and is not able to use one of its much vaunted "first picks" until mid-September when Manchester United take onnewly promoted Crystal Palace. Sky can claim to has exclusive rights to every clash among last season's top four, plus 24 of 32 live matches involving Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal up to the beginning of December. However, BT executives insisted they were "thrilled" by the games they have secured, which include the Merseyside derby. "We have only used five of our top picks, which means that BT Sport will have another 13 throughout the remainder of the season, so our viewers have many more excellent Premier League games to come," said BT Sport director Simon Green. "In the first 13 Premier League rounds until December, we will show the biggest clubs at least twice including Tottenham taking on serious title contenders in both matches, against Manchester United and Chelsea." BT only has fourth pick of the live matches on 20 rounds of the fixture list but first pick on the other 18, making it the first broadcaster to be able to challenge Sky's claim always to show the biggest clashes. BT, which paid £738m over three years for 38 matches per season, will give its channels away free to its broadband subscribers. Sky has countered by making the opening day of its coverage available free to air for the first time, including David Moyes' first match against Swansea City at Old Trafford. In all, Sky will show 116 live matches having agreed to pay £2.3bn over three seasons for the privilege. Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis denied that its tactic of frontloading the schedule with attractive matches would give BT the advantage in the run in. Sky has 12 "first pick" weekends for the remaining 20 rounds of fixtures, while BT will be left with eight. The new entrant also has a further five "first pick" slots in midweek rounds of fixtures, but they must be used before February. Behind the complex game of chess over choosing which fixtures to broadcast, which has angered supporters' groups who claim fans have not been able to plan their travel, lies a long term battle for supremacy of the sports broadcasting landscape. "BT has made no difference to our selections, there isn't anything particularly game-changing about what we're seeing today," insisted Francis, who has hired Jamie Carragher as a pundit and revamped Sky's Saturday schedule to respond to the threat from BT, which plans a live show fronted by Jake Humphrey to run throughout the afternoon. Carragher, who will appear alongside Gary Neville on Monday Night Football, said Sky had "the best team on the best lineup of live football". Premier League Sky Sports BT Sport Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time11 July 2013 16:24:52


Sky and BT embark on battle for the best live Premier League fixtures

19 June 2013 21:39:40 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• Majority of BT's 38 games to be shown on Saturday lunchtimes • Sky confident experience of picking matches gives them edge The announcement of the Premier League fixture list will also sound the starting gun on a bitter battle over which matches are to be televised live between BSkyB and BT. The new broadcaster has gambled £738m on securing the rights to 38 live matches per season, but Sky Sports will still screen the lion's share, 116 games, under a domestic TV deal worth more than £3bn in total to Premier League clubs over the next three seasons. Unlike its predecessors which have failed in challenging in Sky, such as Setanta, or have opted not to compete head-on, such as ESPN, BT has trumpeted the fact that it has 18 "first-pick matches" among its rights. So although it will only air an average of one game a week, most of them in a Saturday lunchtime slot, it will be able to lay claim to meaningful matches involving some of the most attractive clubs. However, it will have to first negotiate the complex picking process in which Sky is confident that its two decades of experience will be brought to bear. Knowledge of which matches will be affected by police advice and other factors is crucial in second-guessing the knock-on effects of making certain choices, but BT will argue that it has plenty of expertise on board from former Setanta and Sky executives. Sky will be able to choose 20 rounds of fixtures in which it will have first pick of the matches on offer, while BT will effectively be left with the other 18 rounds – subject to various other complicating factors. Executives at both companies have been deciding for months how they will structure their approach, but it is only once the fixtures have been released that they can begin to properly plan their tactics in picking their first tranche of matches. One of the key decisions for both companies will be the extent to which they "frontload" their choices in order to start with a bang. BT, having spent heavily on marketing its new sports channels that will be offered free to subscribers to its broadband service, will be keen to make a statement of intent. During Setanta's ultimately doomed attempt to take on Sky's dominance its executives became so frustrated with the opposition's blocking tactics during negotiations over picks that it complained to the Premier League. The complex game of bluff and double-bluff is likely to take two or three weeks and result in a host of the matches announced morning being moved for the benefit of the cameras. The full list of the first tranche of televised matches is unlikely to be finalised until the first or second week of July. Gavin Patterson, the BT Retail chief who was heavily involved in the decision to bid for the Premier League rights as a driver for its broadband and "triple-play services", was named chief executive of the entire company. The new channels will launch in early August, broadcasting from new studios on the Olympic Park. As well as the Premier League, BT has secured exclusive rights to Premiership rugby and through a deal to acquire ESPN's UK business, coverage of the FA Cup and Scottish Premier League. Premier League BT Sport Sky Sports BSkyB Television industry Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time19 June 2013 21:39:40


Sky and BT embark on battle for the best live Premier League fixtures

19 June 2013 21:32:07 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Majority of BT's 38 games to be shown on Saturday lunchtimes • Sky confident experience of picking matches gives them edge The announcement of the Premier League fixture list will also sound the starting gun on a bitter battle over which matches are to be televised live between BSkyB and BT. The new broadcaster has gambled £738m on securing the rights to 38 live matches per season, but Sky Sports will still screen the lion's share, 116 games, under a domestic TV deal worth more than £3bn in total to Premier League clubs over the next three seasons. Unlike its predecessors which have failed in challenging in Sky, such as Setanta, or have opted not to compete head-on, such as ESPN, BT has trumpeted the fact that it has 18 "first-pick matches" among its rights. So although it will only air an average of one game a week, most of them in a Saturday lunchtime slot, it will be able to lay claim to meaningful matches involving some of the most attractive clubs. However, it will have to first negotiate the complex picking process in which Sky is confident that its two decades of experience will be brought to bear. Knowledge of which matches will be affected by police advice and other factors is crucial in second-guessing the knock-on effects of making certain choices, but BT will argue that it has plenty of expertise on board from former Setanta and Sky executives. Sky will be able to choose 20 rounds of fixtures in which it will have first pick of the matches on offer, while BT will effectively be left with the other 18 rounds – subject to various other complicating factors. Executives at both companies have been deciding for months how they will structure their approach, but it is only once the fixtures have been released that they can begin to properly plan their tactics in picking their first tranche of matches. One of the key decisions for both companies will be the extent to which they "frontload" their choices in order to start with a bang. BT, having spent heavily on marketing its new sports channels that will be offered free to subscribers to its broadband service, will be keen to make a statement of intent. During Setanta's ultimately doomed attempt to take on Sky's dominance its executives became so frustrated with the opposition's blocking tactics during negotiations over picks that it complained to the Premier League. The complex game of bluff and double-bluff is likely to take two or three weeks and result in a host of the matches announced morning being moved for the benefit of the cameras. The full list of the first tranche of televised matches is unlikely to be finalised until the first or second week of July. Gavin Patterson, the BT Retail chief who was heavily involved in the decision to bid for the Premier League rights as a driver for its broadband and "triple-play services", was named chief executive of the entire company. The new channels will launch in early August, broadcasting from new studios on the Olympic Park. As well as the Premier League, BT has secured exclusive rights to Premiership rugby and through a deal to acquire ESPN's UK business, coverage of the FA Cup and Scottish Premier League. Premier League BT Sport Sky Sports BSkyB Television industry Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time19 June 2013 21:32:07


ITV and England TV deal provides central platform for venting viewers | Owen Gibson

14 May 2013 17:52:38 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

ITV's shareholders will be pleased at channel's new four-year deal to broadcast England games. Viewers are not so sure With much of the attention in the sports broadcasting world focused on BT Sport's £1bn gamble in taking on Sky Sports , ITV executives were quietly tying up a deal that will make the broadcaster the home of all England's competitive internationals for the next four years. It means the broadcaster can market itself as the home of all England's competitive internationals, including the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying competitions, and avoids the need to have to tie up individual deals for away matches on a match-by-match basis, as is currently the case. For ITV executives then, the £100m-plus deal is a cause for celebration. Judging by the reaction to date on Twitter and other social networks, viewers are not so sure. In ratings terms, live coverage of England's home internationals was the one part of ITV's controversial over-inflated £425m joint deal with the now defunct Setanta that unquestionably worked. When Setanta went bust , it picked up the rights to home friendlies too and later extended the deal for an extra two years to take it to 2014. Whatever the pressures on the international game, and it remains an open question just how much damage fixture overkill and the intermittent war between the biggest clubs and Fifa has done to its appeal to younger generations, live coverage of the national side remains "event" television that can be guaranteed to draw an audience even in a fragmented multichannel era. Uefa's new format for the qualifying stages – splitting matches into nine doubler headers that will be stretched across six days over a weekend – will also increase their appeal to viewers and broadcasters. While the World Cup and European Championship finals are listed events, meaning that they have to be shown on free-to-air TV, there is no such restriction on the qualifying stages. But Sky has long since decided that shelling out for live England matches does not drive subscriptions in the same way as regular European and domestic club football does, and focused instead on the other home nations to fill the gaps in its schedules when international week rolls around. Sky's deal for exclusive rights to all Scotland, Wales, Northern lreland and Republic of Ireland matches for the next four years continues the direction of travel of recent years. The deal also gives Sky an effective monopoly on the vast majority of qualifying matches involving other nations over the next four years. ITV4 can screen 20 matches involving other nations over the four-year period, while Sky will show more than 500. Being able to consolidate all England's competitive internationals, home and away, in one place for the next four years through Uefa's new centralised sales process should please ITV's shareholders and advertisers. How fans will feel is another matter entirely. The recent furore over the need to cut short Gabriel Clarke's interview with José Mourinho , just as it appeared the Portuguese was about to break every post-match convention in the book and actually reveal something interesting, reignited the debate about the quality of ITV's coverage. It has been dogged in recent years by the sort of unfortunate high-profile gaffes that tend to establish the sort of reputation that is difficult to shrug off. There was the fact that England's opening goal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa against the USA was missed altogether by those watching in high definition and the Tic-Tac debacle of a year earlier when the broadcaster accidently switched to the ads just as Everton's Dan Gosling was breaking the deadlock deep into extra time of a Merseyside FA Cup derby . It can't very well help its business model, but for some those incidents somehow exemplified their other recurrent frustration with ITV's coverage – the constant advertising breaks that leave little time for the in-depth analysis they have become used to elsewhere. Others aim their ire at the talent on show, reserving particular vitriol for the largely inoffensive Andy Townsend (who has long since abandoned the tactics truck that proved such a lightning rod for criticism during that three-year sojourn when Premier League highlights were snatched by ITV ). Adrian Chiles as the main anchor and Clive Tyldesley as commentator also divide opinion, to put it politely. In truth, the pundit's sofa is one area where ITV has improved. The widespread agreement that Gary Neville has set a new bar for punditry on Sky has prompted others to up their game. Every time the insightful and engaging Lee Dixon appears onscreen he gives further credence to the theory that the BBC were mad to let him go (especially while continuing to employ some of the "golf club set" who appear to have immovable rights to occupy the Match of the Day banquette). And though he must be wary of becoming a caricature, the straight-talking Roy Keane has been a revelation, despite (or perhaps because) of his propensity to reduce his fellow pundits to gibbering wrecks. No matter how badly England play, and the current qualifying campaign has contained its obligatory quota of stultifying football and desperation alongside some moments of relief, viewers continue to tune in. Many appear to do so as an exercise in frustration and to give themselves something to complain about on Twitter or in the office. In that sense, maybe ITV are the perfect home for Roy Hodgson's England after all. England ITV channel Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time14 May 2013 17:52:38


ITV and England TV deal provides central platform for venting viewers | Owen Gibson

14 May 2013 17:50:59 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

ITV's shareholders will be pleased at channel's new four-year deal to broadcast England games. Viewers are not so sure With much of the attention in the sports broadcasting world focused on BT Sport's £1bn gamble in taking on Sky Sports , ITV executives were quietly tying up a deal that will make the broadcaster the home of all England's competitive internationals for the next four years. It means the broadcaster can market itself as the home of all England's competitive internationals, including the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying competitions, and avoids the need to have to tie up individual deals for away matches on a match-by-match basis, as is currently the case. For ITV executives then, the £100m-plus deal is a cause for celebration. Judging by the reaction to date on Twitter and other social networks, viewers are not so sure. In ratings terms, live coverage of England's home internationals was the one part of ITV's controversial over-inflated £425m joint deal with the now defunct Setanta that unquestionably worked. When Setanta went bust , it picked up the rights to home friendlies too and later extended the deal for an extra two years to take it to 2014. Whatever the pressures on the international game, and it remains an open question just how much damage fixture overkill and the intermittent war between the biggest clubs and Fifa has done to its appeal to younger generations, live coverage of the national side remains "event" television that can be guaranteed to draw an audience even in a fragmented multichannel era. Uefa's new format for the qualifying stages – splitting matches into nine doubler headers that will be stretched across six days over a weekend – will also increase their appeal to viewers and broadcasters. While the World Cup and European Championship finals are listed events, meaning that they have to be shown on free-to-air TV, there is no such restriction on the qualifying stages. But Sky has long since decided that shelling out for live England matches does not drive subscriptions in the same way as regular European and domestic club football does, and focused instead on the other home nations to fill the gaps in its schedules when international week rolls around. Sky's deal for exclusive rights to all Scotland, Wales, Northern lreland and Republic of Ireland matches for the next four years continues the direction of travel of recent years. The deal also gives Sky an effective monopoly on the vast majority of qualifying matches involving other nations over the next four years. ITV4 can screen 20 matches involving other nations over the four-year period, while Sky will show more than 500. Being able to consolidate all England's competitive internationals, home and away, in one place for the next four years through Uefa's new centralised sales process should please ITV's shareholders and advertisers. How fans will feel is another matter entirely. The recent furore over the need to cut short Gabriel Clarke's interview with José Mourinho , just as it appeared the Portuguese was about to break every post-match convention in the book and actually reveal something interesting, reignited the debate about the quality of ITV's coverage. It has been dogged in recent years by the sort of unfortunate high-profile gaffes that tend to establish the sort of reputation that is difficult to shrug off. There was the fact that England's opening goal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa against the USA was missed altogether by those watching in high definition and the Tic-Tac debacle of a year earlier when the broadcaster accidently switched to the ads just as Everton's Dan Gosling was breaking the deadlock deep into extra time of a Merseyside FA Cup derby . It can't very well help its business model, but for some those incidents somehow exemplified their other recurrent frustration with ITV's coverage – the constant advertising breaks that leave little time for the in-depth analysis they have become used to elsewhere. Others aim their ire at the talent on show, reserving particular vitriol for the largely inoffensive Andy Townsend (who has long since abandoned the tactics truck that proved such a lightning rod for criticism during that three-year sojourn when Premier League highlights were snatched by ITV ). Adrian Chiles as the main anchor and Clive Tyldesley as commentator also divide opinion, to put it politely. In truth, the pundit's sofa is one area where ITV has improved. The widespread agreement that Gary Neville has set a new bar for punditry on Sky has prompted others to up their game. Every time the insightful and engaging Lee Dixon appears onscreen he gives further credence to the theory that the BBC were mad to let him go (especially while continuing to employ some of the "golf club set" who appear to have immovable rights to occupy the Match of the Day banquette). And though he must be wary of becoming a caricature, the straight-talking Roy Keane has been a revelation, despite (or perhaps because) of his propensity to reduce his fellow pundits to gibbering wrecks. No matter how badly England play, and the current qualifying campaign has contained its obligatory quota of stultifying football and desperation alongside some moments of relief, viewers continue to tune in. Many appear to do so as an exercise in frustration and to give themselves something to complain about on Twitter or in the office. In that sense, maybe ITV are the perfect home for Roy Hodgson's England after all. England ITV channel Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time14 May 2013 17:50:59


Post-Ferguson, Manchester United struggles to justify £2bn price tag

10 May 2013 19:05:57 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

• Man Utd's sluggish revenues • BT's sporting gamble • What is Co-op's raison d'etre? • Stuart Rose off to a flyer Contrary to some reports, Manchester United's New York-listed shares did not plunge on Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement . They ended the week 2.7% lower than they started it – that's next to nothing. But they should have plunged. By conventional financial yardsticks, the club is grossly overvalued at $3bn (£1.9bn) while also carrying £368m of debt. Now that the most reliable asset is giving up front-line duties, the stock deserves to be a double "sell." The valuation issue is basic: revenues were only £320m last year and half that sum was paid straight out as salaries. At the operating level, profits were only £44.9m. That entire sum was then consumed by finance costs of £49.5m, leading to a pre-tax loss of £4.7m. Naturally, there was no dividend. None of which is to deny that the Glazers' financial gamble has paid off. The £800m leveraged buyout in 2005 looked reckless at the time, not least because the adventure was funded in part with those notorious payment-in-kind (PIK) notes that accumulated interest at the potentially poisonous rate of 14.25%. But the PIKs were paid off in 2010 and the moment of maximum financial danger passed. Ferguson kept the club in the Champions League every season and collected trophies. In doing so, he made the Glazers' optimistic financial assumptions work. The current debt is clearly manageable. If the Glazers' stone-cold equity investment was £500m-ish, they are clearly going to make a big profit if, and when, they sell their controlling shareholding. It's just that ascribing a £1.9bn value to the equity is wild. Manchester United may be the biggest football club in the world but it is not a large company. The Glazers have cranked up the commercial operation but overall revenues advanced by only 14% between 2009 and 2012. The current year has been stronger (revenues up 13% at the nine-month stage) but, for context, it will still take Man Utd 12 months to generate the revenues that Sports Direct achieves in 12 weeks. The stock market valuation makes sense only if the Glazers can find somebody wealthier than themselves to pay the princely sum of £2bn-plus for the honour of owning Man Utd. The Premier League has become the playground of oligarchs and sheikhs, so it's not out of the question. But the task looks harder in the post-Ferguson era. His presence was almost a guarantee of glory on the field. If that guarantee is ever seen to weaken, the short list of individuals with a couple of billion to spare may become even shorter. The mistake made by failed entrants in the pay-TV market was to try to knock BSkyB off their effing perch, as Ferguson might have put it. That was always likely to be a losing game for the likes of Setanta and ESPN. BT's idea is smarter. Behind the obligatory bombast, chief executive Ian Livingston is clear that he is aiming only for co-existence with Sky. BT should be able to justify its three-year £1bn investment by attracting more broadband subscribers, especially from Virgin and Talk Talk. Analysts reckon one million extra customers would be a useful start. That goal ought to be within reach as BT completes its £2.5bn fibre network and pulls in viewers who want to save a few quid by living on a lower-fat sports diet. Sky will still have the gourmet sports dishes but, in a world of triple-play (broadband, TV and phone), BT's offer looks competitive in a way that Setanta et al could never achieve. The amazing part is that BT shareholders sanctioned the TV adventure with barely a grumble. Even three years ago, it would not have happened. Livingston was still in the early stages of reviving BT after its accident in its global services division, which runs big IT contracts. His back-to-basics formula has worked wonders: costs have been slashed, service has improved and peace has broken out with the pension fund trustees. The share price has risen from 70p in 2009 to 310p now, after Friday's forecast-beating profits . The company is spitting out cash again and a £1bn investment is suddenly not such a big deal. The worry for BSkyB must be what happens in three years' time if Livingston maintains BT's overall pace and makes a success of pay-TV. Would BT raise its ambition the next time the Premier League rights are up for grabs? Welcome to the Co-op Group , Euan Sutherland. You thought you would be chief executive of an outfit with a challenger bank – your predecessor was full of such talk. It turns out you are actually in charge of a challenged bank. The Moody's downgrade of Co-op Bank's debt to junk status does not imply a crisis for the bank's customers. The boasts about ample liquidity are credible and there are ways to find more capital. A sale of the life insurance business has been agreed and the general business is on the block. If the regulators decide the proceeds are still insufficient, the Co-op Group itself – the ultimate parent – would have to dig deep into its collection of supermarkets and funeral homes. But, if that prospect is even a vague possibility, it is time for the Co-op movement to consider its role in life. What is it in business to achieve? What is it good at? Are the capital demands of running a bank now too great for an organisation without shareholders? The 2009 merger with Brittania Building Society should never have happened. As the Moody's report makes clear, the Co-op "underestimated the risks" of a deal that brought a collection of soggy property loans and sub-prime mortgages. Nor would salvation have arrived via the now-abandoned deal to buy 632 branches from Lloyds. The Co-op would have become bigger in banking but there were "a number of challenges in terms of capital, liquidity and execution risk," in Moody's polite language. Sutherland, who joined this month, is not a banker. He's out of B&Q by way of Superdrug. His job now is to find some banking expertise, pronto – a point one assumes the regulators have made already. His second task is to spell out to his members what being a bank entails. Peter Marks, his predecessor, used to assert that there was unanimous support within the Co-op for expansion in banking. Really? Sutherland should find out. How to make £1m. Sir Stuart Rose , when he agreed to become chairman of Ocado in January, was given 452,000 shares as a golden hello. The value of that award at the time was £400,000 and it matched the size of Rose's purchase of Ocado shares from his own pocket. Now that Ocado's share price has started to motor (90p to 224p since January), Rose's freebie award is worth £1m. He can't bank the sum since vesting depends on his remaining chairman for at least three years. Even so, he's off to a flyer. Including the gain on the shares he bought himself, he's up about £1.6m on paper. No bad going before he's actually chaired a board meeting.

Vice Bussines Time10 May 2013 19:05:57


Post-Ferguson, Manchester United struggles to justify £2bn price tag

10 May 2013 18:59:26 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

• Man Utd's sluggish revenues • BT's sporting gamble • What is Co-op's raison d'etre? • Stuart Rose off to a flyer Contrary to some reports, Manchester United's New York-listed shares did not plunge on Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. They ended the week 2.7% lower than they started it – that's next to nothing. But they should have plunged. By conventional financial yardsticks, the club is grossly overvalued at $3bn (£1.9bn) while also carrying £368m of debt. Now that the most reliable asset is giving up front-line duties, the stock deserves to be a double "sell." The valuation issue is basic: revenues were only £320m last year and half that sum was paid straight out as salaries. At the operating level, profits were only £44.9m. That entire sum was then consumed by finance costs of £49.5m, leading to a pre-tax loss of £4.7m. Naturally, there was no dividend. None of which is to deny that the Glazers' financial gamble has paid off. The £800m leveraged buyout in 2005 looked reckless at the time, not least because the adventure was funded in part with those notorious payment-in-kind (PIK) notes that accumulated interest at the potentially poisonous rate of 14.25%. But the PIKs were paid off in 2010 and the moment of maximum financial danger passed. Ferguson kept the club in the Champions League every season and collected trophies. In doing so, he made the Glazers' optimistic financial assumptions work. The current debt is clearly manageable. If the Glazers' stone-cold equity investment was £500m-ish, they are clearly going to make a big profit if, and when, they sell their controlling shareholding. It's just that ascribing a £1.9bn value to the equity is wild. Manchester United may be the biggest football club in the world but it is not a large company. The Glazers have cranked up the commercial operation but overall revenues advanced by only 14% between 2009 and 2012. The current year has been stronger (revenues up 13% at the nine-month stage) but, for context, it will still take Man Utd 12 months to generate the revenues that Sports Direct achieves in 12 weeks. The stock market valuation makes sense only if the Glazers can find somebody wealthier than themselves to pay the princely sum of £2bn-plus for the honour of owning Man Utd. The Premier League has become the playground of oligarchs and sheikhs, so it's not out of the question. But the task looks harder in the post-Ferguson era. His presence was almost a guarantee of glory on the field. If that guarantee is ever seen to weaken, the short list of individuals with a couple of billion to spare may become even shorter. xx The mistake made by failed entrants in the pay-TV market was to try to knock BSkyB off their effing perch, as Ferguson might have put it. That was always likely to be a losing game for the likes of Setanta and ESPN. BT's idea is smarter. Behind the obligatory bombast, chief executive Ian Livingston is clear that he is aiming only for co-existence with Sky. BT should be able to justify its three-year £1bn investment by attracting more broadband subscribers, especially from Virgin and Talk Talk. Analysts reckon one million extra customers would be a useful start. That goal ought to be within reach as BT completes its £2.5bn fibre network and pulls in viewers who want to save a few quid by living on a lower-fat sports diet. Sky will still have the gourmet sports dishes but, in a world of triple-play (broadband, TV and phone), BT's offer looks competitive in a way that Setanta et al could never achieve. The amazing part is that BT shareholders sanctioned the TV adventure with barely a grumble. Even three years ago, it would not have happened. Livingston was still in the early stages of reviving BT after its accident in its global services division, which runs big IT contracts. His back-to-basics formula has worked wonders: costs have been slashed, service has improved and peace has broken out with the pension fund trustees. The share price has risen from 70p in 2009 to 310p now, after Friday's forecast-beating profits . The company is spitting out cash again and a £1bn investment is suddenly not such a big deal. The worry for BSkyB must be what happens in three years' time if Livingston maintains BT's overall pace and makes a success of pay-TV. Would BT raise its ambition the next time the Premier League rights are up for grabs? xx Welcome to the Co-op Group, Euan Sutherland. You thought you would be chief executive of an outfit with a challenger bank – your predecessor was full of such talk. It turns out you are actually in charge of a challenged bank. The Moody's downgrade of Co-op Bank's debt to junk status does not imply a crisis for the bank's customers. The boasts about ample liquidity are credible and there are ways to find more capital. A sale of the life insurance business has been agreed and the general business is on the block. If the regulators decide the proceeds are still insufficient, the Co-op Group itself – the ultimate parent – would have to dig deep into its collection of supermarkets and funeral homes. But, if that prospect is even a vague possibility, it is time for the Co-op movement to consider its role in life. What is it in business to achieve? What is it good at? Are the capital demands of running a bank now too great for an organisation without shareholders? The 2009 merger with Brittania Building Society should never have happened. As the Moody's report makes clear, the Co-op "underestimated the risks" of a deal that brought a collection of soggy property loans and sub-prime mortgages. Nor would salvation have arrived via the now-abandoned deal to buy 632 branches from Lloyds. The Co-op would have become bigger in banking but there were "a number of challenges in terms of capital, liquidity and execution risk," in Moody's polite language. Sutherland, who joined this month, is not a banker. He's out of B&Q by way of Superdrug. His job now is to find some banking expertise, pronto – a point one assumes the regulators have made already. His second task is to spell out to his members what being a bank entails. Peter Marks, his predecessor, used to assert that there was unanimous support within the Co-op for expansion in banking. Really? Sutherland should find out. xx How to make £1m. Sir Stuart Rose, when he agreed to become chairman of Ocado in January, was given 452,000 shares as a golden hello. The value of that award at the time was £400,000 and it matched the size of Rose's purchase of Ocado shares from his own pocket. Now that Ocado's share price has started to motor (90p to 224p since January), Rose's freebie award is worth £1m. He can't bank the sum since vesting depends on his remaining chairman for at least three years. Even so, he's off to a flyer. Including the gain on the shares he bought himself, he's up about £1.6m on paper. No bad going before he's actually chaired a board meeting. Manchester United

Vice Bussines Time10 May 2013 18:59:26


BT Sport: what you will pay

10 May 2013 16:53:25 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

BT broadband customers get its three sports channels for free, so is it worth switching and what will you pay? BT has announced that its broadband customers will get free access to its three sports channels from 1 August. What sport will be available? BT is offering three channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – which will show a range of sport from football to women's tennis. The broadcaster has the rights to show 38 Premier League football matches and exclusive rights to show live games from rugby's Aviva Premiership. There will also be some FA Cup games and Scottish Premier League games. If you're a football fan you will probably want to run BT Sports alongside your existing Sky Sports package, if you have one. If you are a rugby fan you might just want BT Sports. How much will I have to pay? If you are a new customer the monthly cost of taking broadband from BT is £10 on copper broadband or £15 on superfast fibre broadband with capped usage, or £16 a month for unlimited usage. On top of that you will also face a line rental charge of £15.45. To get the sports offer you have to commit to a 12-month contract. Anyone who signs up before 1 August when the channels go live will get free HD channels for a year; those who sign up afterwards will need to pay £3 a month. When you join you will need to pay £6.95 P&P for the hub. That will be enough to let you watch the channels online. If you want to watch via your TV you will need to get BT TV. This costs £199 upfront with no contract, or £49 if you sign up for a TV package. The cheapest package is £5 a month and you need to sign up for a year. Signing up for BT Infinity, the package delivered through the fibre optic network, means an additional upfront "activation cost" of £30, while the alternative – watching through the TV aerial – will require you to buy a card for £10. Upfront costs can add up to more than £80. I'm already with BT for broadband and TV, will I get the channels automatically? No. You will need to commit to a 12-month broadband contract to get it, so you have to actively opt in to receive them. If, for example, you have two months left on an existing contract it can just be extended to 12 months; if you are two months into an 18-month contract you don't need to make any extra commitments. I'm with BT for broadband but have a Freeview box. What will I pay? You can watch the sports channels on your iPad or PC for free through an app. If you want to watch on your TV you will need a set-top box. This costs £199 upfront with no contract, or £49 if you sign up for a TV package. The cheapest is £5 a month and you need to sign up for a year. There are also upfront activation costs (see above). I'm with BT for broadband but have a Sky box. What will I pay? You can watch BT Sports through your Sky box for free. You just need to call and request it, giving the details of your set-top box. I'm with Sky for broadband, phone and TV. What would I pay to get the BT channels? It depends what you want to do. BT and Sky have done a deal to show each others channels, so you could stay with Sky and add the BT Sports package to your existing deal. This will cost £12 a month, or £15 if you want HD channels. If you decide to switch entirely you won't need to pay for a phone line, but you will need to pay for a new BT set-top box and pay all the activation costs detailed earlier. The cost of your line rental will also increase from £14.50 a month with Sky to £15.45 a month with BT, as will the cost of broadband, from £7.50 with Sky to £16 with BT. However, BT is offering free broadband for six months, and as such over the first year it claims that the full phone, broadband and TV package will cost £134.65 a year less. After that you will pay £76.50 a month to get a full package including Sky and BT's sports channels from Sky, and £73.95 a month to get it from BT. I'm with Virgin Media for everything. What would I pay to get BT Sports? Unfortunately at the moment you can't add BT Sports to your Virgin Media TV package, so you need to switch provider entirely if you want the deal. You will need a new phone line, which means an upfront charge of £30, and your line rental will go up from £14.99 a month to £15.45 (although you can reduce that to £10.75 if you pay for a whole year in advance). BT claims its total monthly cost of a TV, phone and broadband package including Sky Sports is £55.45, while with Virgin Media it is £66.74. If you wanted a package with TV, broadband and phone and just BT's sports channels, not Sky's, it would cost £35.45 a month at BT. Is this just a one-year deal or will I have to pay next season? BT says it has no plans to charge for sports next season, but the free HD offer will end after a year. After that, customers who want to continue with HD will pay £3 a month. The company has Premier League football rights for three years and the rugby rights for four years. Should I be worried about switching provider? We have had lots of complaints from readers who have tried to get BT phone lines fixed or installed in recent months , so you would be right to have reservations. However, BT says it has taken on new call centre staff and engineers to cope with the demand it expects, but if you want to make sure you get the channels in time for the start of the football season you would be wise not to leave it until the last minute. Household bills Internet, phones & broadband Consumer affairs BT Sport BT Telecommunications industry Sky Sports Television industry Premier League Rugby union Hilary Osborne guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time10 May 2013 16:53:25


BT Sport: what you will pay

10 May 2013 16:49:50 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

BT broadband customers get its three sports channels for free, so is it worth switching and what will you pay? BT has announced that its broadband customers will get free access to its three sports channels from 1 August. What sport will be available? BT is offering three channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – which will show a range of sport from football to women's tennis. The broadcaster has the rights to show 38 Premier League football matches and exclusive rights to show live games from rugby's Aviva Premiership. There will also be some FA Cup games and Scottish Premier League games. If you're a football fan you will probably want to run BT Sports alongside your existing Sky Sports package, if you have one. If you are a rugby fan you might just want BT Sports. How much will I have to pay? If you are a new customer the monthly cost of taking broadband from BT is £10 on copper broadband or £15 on superfast fibre broadband with capped usage, or £16 a month for unlimited usage. On top of that you will also face a line rental charge of £15.45. To get the sports offer you have to commit to a 12-month contract. Anyone who signs up before 1 August when the channels go live will get free HD channels for a year; those who sign up afterwards will need to pay £3 a month. When you join you will need to pay £6.95 P&P for the hub. That will be enough to let you watch the channels online. If you want to watch via your TV you will need to get BT TV. This costs £199 upfront with no contract, or £49 if you sign up for a TV package. The cheapest package is £5 a month and you need to sign up for a year. Signing up for BT Infinity, the package delivered through the fibre optic network, means an additional upfront "activation cost" of £30, while the alternative – watching through the TV aerial – will require you to buy a card for £10. Upfront costs can add up to more than £80. I'm already with BT for broadband and TV, will I get the channels automatically? No. You will need to commit to a 12-month broadband contract to get it, so you have to actively opt in to receive them. If, for example, you have two months left on an existing contract it can just be extended to 12 months; if you are two months into an 18-month contract you don't need to make any extra commitments. I'm with BT for broadband but have a Freeview box. What will I pay? You can watch the sports channels on your iPad or PC for free through an app. If you want to watch on your TV you will need a set-top box. This costs £199 upfront with no contract, or £49 if you sign up for a TV package. The cheapest is £5 a month and you need to sign up for a year. There are also upfront activation costs (see above). I'm with BT for broadband but have a Sky box. What will I pay? You can watch BT Sports through your Sky box for free. You just need to call and request it, giving the details of your set-top box. I'm with Sky for broadband, phone and TV. What would I pay to get the BT channels? It depends what you want to do. BT and Sky have done a deal to show each others channels, so you could stay with Sky and add the BT Sports package to your existing deal. This will cost £12 a month, or £15 if you want HD channels. If you decide to switch entirely you won't need to pay for a phone line, but you will need to pay for a new BT set-top box and pay all the activation costs detailed earlier. The cost of your line rental will also increase from £14.50 a month with Sky to £15.45 a month with BT, as will the cost of broadband, from £7.50 with Sky to £16 with BT. However, BT is offering free broadband for six months, and as such over the first year it claims that the full phone, broadband and TV package will cost £134.65 a year less. After that you will pay £76.50 a month to get a full package including Sky and BT's sports channels from Sky, and £73.95 a month to get it from BT. I'm with Virgin Media for everything. What would I pay to get BT Sports? Unfortunately at the moment you can't add BT Sports to your Virgin Media TV package, so you need to switch provider entirely if you want the deal. You will need a new phone line, which means an upfront charge of £30, and your line rental will go up from £14.99 a month to £15.45 (although you can reduce that to £10.75 if you pay for a whole year in advance). BT claims its total monthly cost of a TV, phone and broadband package including Sky Sports is £55.45, while with Virgin Media it is £66.74. If you wanted a package with TV, broadband and phone and just BT's sports channels, not Sky's, it would cost £35.45 a month at BT. Is this just a one-year deal or will I have to pay next season? BT says it has no plans to charge for sports next season, but the free HD offer will end after a year. After that, customers who want to continue with HD will pay £3 a month. The company has Premier League football rights for three years and the rugby rights for four years. Should I be worried about switching provider? We have had lots of complaints from readers who have tried to get BT phone lines fixed or installed in recent months , so you would be right to have reservations. However, BT says it has taken on new call centre staff and engineers to cope with the demand it expects, but if you want to make sure you get the channels in time for the start of the football season you would be wise not to leave it until the last minute. Household bills Internet, phones & broadband Consumer affairs BT Sport BT Telecommunications industry Sky Sports Television industry Premier League Rugby union Hilary Osborne guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

Vice All News Time10 May 2013 16:49:50


BT Sport: Michael Owen to be lead co-commentator... prices, pundits, first game of the season and more

09 May 2013 13:49:01 Football | Mail Online

Michael Owen will be the lead co-commentator for BT Sports' football coverage, while Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman, David James and Rio Ferdinand will also appear as BT pundits and presenters.

Vice Football Time09 May 2013 13:49:01


BT Sport: Michael Owen to be lead co-commentator... prices, pundits, first game of the season and more

09 May 2013 13:01:06 Sport | Mail Online

Michael Owen will be the lead co-commentator for BT Sports' football coverage, while Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman, David James and Rio Ferdinand will also appear as BT pundits and presenters.

Vice Sport Time09 May 2013 13:01:06


BT Sport aims to tackle Sky head on

08 May 2013 20:32:36 Football news, match reports and fixtures | theguardian.com

Broadcaster has secured rights to 38 live Premier League matches, British rugby union and the women's tennis tour BT Sport, the new entrant into the pay TV market that plans to take Sky Sports head on, will offer its channels "as good as free" to existing customers in an aggressive bid to challenge the incumbent's two decades of sport broadcasting dominance. The broadcaster is expected finally to unveil details of its pricing plan and consumer proposition at an event at its Olympic Park studios , but it is understood that existing BT Broadband customers will be offered a substantial discount as it attempts to use its two new sport channels to woo new customers. Jake Humphrey, the presenter poached from the BBC to anchor coverage of the 38 live Premier League matches per season, for which it will pay £738m over the next three years, said that part of its mission was to democratise coverage of the top flight and make it more affordable for those who feel priced out by Sky's stranglehold on the best games. "The important thing for me is to make it as widely and easily available as possible. To me, Premier League football has to be more widely available," he told the Guardian. "It's the national game, it's the league in which our national team plays. People need to be able to get it as good as free. We want to make it as accessible as possible." In addition to its Premier League football rights, BT has secured all the live rights to domestic rugby union and the women's tennis tour. It has also bought the UK operations of ESPN, which gives it the rights to the FA Cup and Scottish football. BT face an uphill battle to succeed where Setanta and ESPN have failed, but claim that the 18 "first pick" matches per season will make their two sports channels attractive to subscribers. A war has already erupted between BT and Sky over the latter's refusal to take advertising for the new BT channels. "We are happy to take Sky's advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours," said John Petter, managing director of BT Retail's consumer division, when he submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom. "It's like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy." BT is confident that it can strike a deal with Sky to make its channels available through the satellite platform, but will offer big discounts to BT Broadband customers in a bid to counter Sky's relatively recent incursion into that market. Humphrey said that BT's coverage would have a different feel from Sky's high-octane approach, and would aim to be more inclusive and family-friendly. Clare Balding has also been hired to front a weekly sport talk show from its new studios on the Olympic Park, on which it has signed a 10-year lease. Alfredo Garicoche, who is general manager of BT Infinity, BT Sport and TV Marketing, said that the company wanted to reward its customers: "We have had a large customer base from many years, who are loyal to us. We will imprint into this our own style and we hope people will love it. "Our idea is to appeal to everyone. Our style is going to be different. We like to say it's sport with colour, sport with fun. More engaging and approachable, maybe. We like the word inclusive as well." BT Sport Sky Sports Sports rights Sport TV BSkyB Television industry Television Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time08 May 2013 20:32:36


BT Sport aims to tackle Sky head on

08 May 2013 19:56:31 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com

Broadcaster has secured rights to 38 live Premier League matches, British rugby union and the women's tennis tour BT Sport, the new entrant into the pay TV market that plans to take Sky Sports head on, will offer its channels "as good as free" to existing customers in an aggressive bid to challenge the incumbent's two decades of sport broadcasting dominance. The broadcaster is expected finally to unveil details of its pricing plan and consumer proposition at an event at its Olympic Park studios , but it is understood that existing BT Broadband customers will be offered a substantial discount as it attempts to use its two new sport channels to woo new customers. Jake Humphrey, the presenter poached from the BBC to anchor coverage of the 38 live Premier League matches per season, for which it will pay £738m over the next three years, said that part of its mission was to democratise coverage of the top flight and make it more affordable for those who feel priced out by Sky's stranglehold on the best games. "The important thing for me is to make it as widely and easily available as possible. To me, Premier League football has to be more widely available," he told the Guardian. "It's the national game, it's the league in which all of our national team plays. People need to be able to get it as good as free. We want to make it as accessible as possible." In addition to its Premier League football rights, BT has secured all the live rights to domestic rugby union and the women's tennis tour. It has also bought the UK operations of ESPN, which gives it the rights to the FA Cup and Scottish football. BT face an uphill battle to succeed where Setanta and ESPN have failed, but claim that the 16 "first pick" matches per season will make their two sports channels attractive to subscribers. A war has already erupted between BT and Sky over the latter's refusal to take advertising for the new BT channels. "We are happy to take Sky's advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours," said John Petter, managing director of BT Retail's consumer division, when he submitted a formal complaint to Ofcom. "It's like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy." BT is confident that it can strike a deal with Sky to make its channels available through the satellite platform, but will offer big discounts to BT Broadband customers in a bid to counter Sky's relatively recent incursion into that market. Humphrey said that BT's coverage would have a different feel from Sky's high-octane approach, and would aim to be more inclusive and family-friendly. Clare Balding has also been hired to front a weekly sport talk show from its new studios on the Olympic Park, on which it has signed a 10-year lease. Alfredo Garicoche, who is general manager of BT Infinity, BT Sport and TV Marketing, said that the company wanted to reward its customers: "We have had a large customer base from many years, who are loyal to us. We will imprint into this our own style and we hope people will love it. "Our idea is to appeal to everyone. Our style is going to be different. We like to say it's sport with colour, sport with fun. More engaging and approachable, maybe. We like the word inclusive as well." BT Sport Sky Sports Sports rights Sport TV BSkyB Television industry Television Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds        

Vice All News Time08 May 2013 19:56:31