BT Sport takes on Olympic broadcast centre
BT has chosen iCITY and the north end of the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the home of its new BT Sport channels. The company will become a long term anchor tenant of the building, now part of iCITY, as it seeks to contribute to the Olympic legacy, by providing jobs and opportunities to the local community.
BT will refit part of the building to house three TV studios, a control centre, 20 edit suites and an audience holding area. BT Sport will show 38 live games a season from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the top clashes, for three years from August 2013. The live coverage will be fronted by Jake Humphrey, BBC Formula 1 and football presenter. The new channels will also show 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership.
The new Olympic Park studios will be a production hub for all the sports content that BT will offer and some programmes will be hosted from the studios. Some features and programming will be filmed at another iconic venue, the BT Tower.
During the Olympics, the press centre and IBC hosted 28,000 media covering the games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The building’s legacy was secured when iCITY successfully bid to take over the centre. BT has now agreed the terms for a ten-year lease with iCITY to be the anchor tenant of the former IBC, to ensure it creates opportunities and employment for the area. iCITY will create a world-leading technology cluster, building on the success of East London’s flourishing digital and creative industries, and supporting regeneration and economic growth across the capital and the UK.
Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, said: “BT is leading the way to secure the Olympic sporting legacy for the community. We see this as a natural continuation of our role as official communications services partner for London 2012.”