Advanced Television

BT Sport teams with Gfinity for eSports

May 11, 2020

By Colin Mann

BT Sport has partnered with Gfinity, the UK eSports business, to deliver a series of celebrity-led gaming entertainment shows that will see some of the biggest names in sport compete for bragging rights.

Drawing on a selection of BT Sport’s marquee talent, including Robbie Savage, Joe Cole, Ugo Monye and Chelcee Grimes, the BT Sport FIFA Challenge series kicked off May 8th with a draft show and will be followed by weekly matches between the celebrity squads culminating in a Grand Final on June 5th.

The four-team tournament, each captained by a member of the BT Sport talent team will also feature sports stars from the world of rugby, and men’s and women’s football. An all-female squad will be led by music artist and Fulham Ladies player Chelcee Grimes.

Gfinity and BT Sport will work together over the coming months to devise new concepts in the eSports space with a view to these series continuing long after the current coronavirus crisis has ended.

“Lockdown has meant that we have been looking at new content and formats to give our viewers their sport fix while there is no live sport,” advises Jamie Hindhaugh, COO BT Sport. “The good news is that this has accelerated our esports plans with Gfinity and we’ll be kicking this off in May, using our market-leading remote production capabilities, with a fun, chat based, FIFA gaming format with plenty of competition between our BT Sport teams that we hope our viewers will enjoy.”

Gfinity and BT Sport will co-produce the series with each episode produced remotely using BT’s newly-developed technology alongside Gfinity’s experience in managing multi-feed gameplay and devising fun, engaging competitive entertainment.

“To finally get to bring a show to the screen in partnership with BT Sport is extremely exciting,” declared Amanda Lawson, Gfinity’s Global Head of Content. “Our focus this year has been on developing formats and shows that work for TV audiences in a way that ‘traditional esports’ has previously come up short. As with all good TV shows, this series will feature top talent, a unique and entertaining format and a fiercely contested competition. We very much look forward to working with BT Sport on further eSports concepts and to bringing exciting new shows to their viewers.”

The next episode of BT Sport FIFA Challenge airs on BT Sport 1 on May 15th.

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