BT promised to return sport to grassroots fans when it revealed BT Sport will be free to any BT broadband customer at a media launch on the Olympic Park.
It is the first time in more than 20 years that weekly live matches from the Barclays Premier League will be free to watch.
More than 100 media from across the sport, business and technology sectors were joined by representatives from leading sport governing bodies, including the Premier League and Dorna, for the launch which was hosted by BT Sport presenters Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding.
Following the press conference and media interviews, guests were also given the opportunity to view the brand new BT Sport studio which is under construction and due for completion in July.
Speaking during the launch, Ian Livingston, BT chief executive, said: “UK Sports fans have had a rough deal for too long. Many have been priced out of the market but we will change this by giving away BT Sport for free with our broadband. Sports fans are the winners today.”
The three channels – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN – will be packed with world class sport. There will be 38 live and exclusive football matches from the Barclays Premier League – including 18 ‘first pick’ matches. There will also be live football from several other top leagues around the world including Germany, France, Italy and Brazil plus FA Cup ties, the UEFA Europa League and Scottish Premier League.
Jake Humphrey will be the anchor of BT Sport’s live Barclays Premier League football matches and will be joined by Manchester United superstar Rio Ferdinand as an interviewer, programme-maker and football expert. Also joining the BT Sport squad are football commentators Ian Darke and Darren Fletcher who will be joined in a co-commentary capacity by Michael Owen. Owen Hargreaves, David James and Steve McManaman join as pundits while Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Maroune Fellani have all signed up to be ambassadors.
BT Sport will also show exclusive coverage of up to 69 live rugby union games from the Aviva Premiership. Coverage will be presented by established broadcaster Craig Doyle who will be joined by former England captain and lead rugby expert Lawrence Dallaglio.
BT Sport has also signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to show matches from 21 global tournaments, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. WTA coverage will be presented by TV and radio personality Lynsey Hipgrave and she will be joined by the greatest female tennis player of all time Martina Navratilova.