The much heralded BT Sport channels go on air for the first time at 18:00 this evening in the UK with an introductory show from their new studio in the London Olympic park followed by live coverage of the Audi Cup final from the Allianz Arena in Munich where hosts Bayern Munich take on Manchester City from 19:00. The new channels can be viewed by anyone with BT broadband or, for tonight only, for free by anyone with Freeview.
BT is the latest in a series of challengers to Sky Sports’ dominant position in the UK televised football market, following in the footsteps of the ill fated ON Digital/ITV Digital channels, Setanta Sports and ESPN. BT has acquired the exclusive rights to 38 Premier League matches in each of the next three seasons, as well as FA Cup, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, Russian Premier League, Dutch Eredivisie, Brazilian Serie A, Europe League, Copa Libertadores, MLS and Scottish PFL football rights. They will be showing a few pre-season friendlies before they screen the first Premier League game of the season, Liverpool v Stoke from Anfield on Saturday 17th of August.