The announcement comes on the eve of the 2013/14 season and will offer BT Sport subscribers weekly interviews from key members of the club’s playing and coaching staff. The three-year deal is being touted as the “first” of its kind by both parties and will also see City’s pre-match entertainment area rebranded to BT City Square, where the broadcaster will host its match-day coverage for the club’s home games.
BT Sport, which is using City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart in its advertising campaign, says the tie-up will look to create additional “innovative content” that can be shared across all its media channels in the coming months.
The tie-up with the Manchester-based club is the latest attempt by BT Sport to differentiate its offering from fierce rival Sky. BT revealed yesterday (15 August) it had struck a deal with Virgin Media to make its sports channel available to the cable operator’s subscribers. The three-year tie-up means Virgin Media can now offer sports channels from both BT and Sky. It is hoped the move will allow BT Sport to charge extra for advertising and boost viewing figures.
BT revealed it had reached the 1 million landmark earlier this week (13 August), although viewing figures have failed to break into the hundreds of thousands since launch (1 August).
Earlier this year BT Sport emerged as the unlikely holder of 38 live Premier League football matches after agreeing to pay £246m per season, sparking a battle with Sky. In total BT has spent more than £1bn obtaining sports rights packages.