Ericsson extends BT Sport partnership


Telecoms infrastructure manufacturer to design, build and run three new BT Sport channels

BT has partnered with telecoms infrastructure provider Ericsson for the launch of three new BT Sport channels.

The Swedish company will design, build and run its new European football channel, BT Sport Europe, free-to-air channel, BT Sport Showcase and 4k broadcasting channel, BT Sport UHD. Its Champions League coverage will be fronted by Gary Lineker.

The new deal builds on an existing relationship between the pair which sees Ericsson provide the same service for its current channels, BT Sport 1 and 2. This existing six-year contract, signed in 2012, has also been extended by an additional three years to end in 2022.

“This partnership is a significant win for our business and really underlines our role as a trusted partner to some of the world’s leading broadcasters and sports rights holders,” said Ericsson head of broadcast and media services Thorsten Sauer.

The new channels are part of a multi-billion sports rights blitz by BT, ahead of its proposed takeover of the UK’s largest mobile network operator, EE. The company paid £897 million to pinch exclusive broadcast rights to Champions League football from rival Sky and ITV. In February it also agreed a £960 million deal to extend its coverage of Premier League Football over three years between 2016-19.