BT Sport circumvents Sky ad ban through Scottish rugby sponsorship

BT Sports has found a way to circumvent BSkyB’s advertising ban by signing sponsorship deals with Glasgow and Edinburgh rugby teams that will see its logo brandished all over its rival’s Scottish rugby coverage.

BT Sports’ logo will appear during BSkyB’s rugby coverage after it agreed to sponsor Glasgow and Edinburgh teams.

The broadcaster has penned a four-year shirt deal with Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby that will also see its logo promoted at their respective home stadiums during their Heineken Cup and RadoDirect matches, which are exclusively shown on Sky Sports.

It comes a month after BSkyB’s refusal to show BT Sport ads on its own sports channels was vindicated by Ofcom (20 June). The move has stoked the flames of the long-running battle between the broadcasters, which has peaked this month as both launched heavyweight campaigns to time with the start of the upcoming football and rugby seasons.

BT’s much-anticipated sports channel launches this week (1 August) and will show live football from the Premier League as well Scotland’s newly-formed Scottish Premiership. It will also screen rugby content such as Aviva Premiership matches and France’s Top 14 – however it will not air matches featuring the two sides it has just signed. 

Meanwhile, BT Sport has made a bold move by running ads in the national press featuring brand ambassador Gareth Bale wearing the kit of his current club Tottenham Hotspur. Bale is reportedly agitating for a move to Spanish club Real Madrid.  

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