ITV has denied reports it is interested in airing any of BT’s Premier League matches, but said it is planning to pitch for the £100 million plus (€127m) contract to produce the telco’s live football coverage.
BT Vision will formally put out a three-year tender, valued at between £100 million and £132 million, for the contract to produce its football coverage and has opened early stage talks with ITV about a potential partnership. ITV Studios already makes the English-language commentary for Al-Jazeera’s Sports, fronted by Gary Lineker, Ruud Gullit, Alan Shearer and Terry Venables, for expats throughout the Middle East.
In terms of broadcast rights, BT has admitted that it intends to open talks with as many potential TV and Internet content distributors as possible in order to recoup the £738 million it paid for the live TV rights for 38 Premier League games per season over three years from 2012/13.
As part of the early-stage discussions, it is reported by The Guardian that an idea was floated that one, or potentially two maximum, lesser Premier League games might be shown on ITV in order to promote the sports channel BT intends to launch next year.