BT nabs rights to Serie A, Ligue 1, MLS

BT nabs rights to Serie A, Ligue 1, MLS
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BT Sport makes a further raid on ESPN, nabbing the rights to Serie A, Ligue 1 and the MLS.

BT's upcoming sports channel has secured the broadcast rights to a host of foreign football leagues ahead of its launch next summer.

The centrepiece of the new channel, which has the working name 'BT Sport', is its Premier League coverage, amounting to some 38 games per season.

In a full-on assault of the rights currently held by ESPN, BT also nabbed the rights to Aviva Premiership rugby and has now added coverage of Serie A, Ligue 1 and the MLS to its roster.

The deals allow BT to broadcast all 380 games per season from the top divisions in Italy and France live - a comprehensive first for the UK - as well as 99 games per season from Major League Soccer.

As multiple games kick off simultaneously on matchdays in Italy and France, it is unclear how BT will broadcast all matches live, suggesting that additional channels, an interactive service or online streaming may also be part of the BT Sport service.

In a separate deal, BT Sport has landed 100 live games per season from Campeonato Paulista (Paulista) and Campeonato Brasileiro de Clubes da Serie A.

Mark Watson, CEO of BT TV, said: "We believe this extra depth of live matches will help us in our aim to develop an absolutely cracking sports channel, with fantastic live action, across the top football leagues, plus rugby union and other sports to come. We've hired the best talent behind the camera to bring to viewers the first-rate production that they've come to expect from a sports channel in the UK."

BT's acquisitions leave ESPN with the Bundesliga as the only major European league on its books from next season.

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