BT launches new opportunity to create the next innovation in sports broadcasting

  • BT Sport launches Innovate 21 competition to identify new experiences in sport broadcast

  • Brian O’Driscoll, Suzi Perry and Robbie Savage among expert judges

  • Competition underlines BT commitment to leadership in sports and broadcast innovation

BT Sport today launches Innovate 21, a competition seeking ideas for exciting new sports broadcast experiences from entrepreneurs, creatives and start-ups. The competition will provide one lucky winner with the opportunity to be at the heart of BT Sport’s industry leading innovation.

With entries open from today, Innovate 21 invites submissions for innovations spanning the entire sports broadcast chain, from production at events through to the viewer at home. BT Sport is looking to uncover exciting ideas from across the UK, with the winner receiving a potential six-figure opportunity to work with BT to develop their idea, technology or service for future use and could even see it become available to all BT Sport customers. They will also receive BT Group mobile and/or broadband connectivity for a period of 12 months at no cost.

The competition is backed by BT Sport presenters Brian O’Driscoll, Suzi Perry and Robbie Savage who will be part of a panel of experts in September at a special event to select the winning innovation, led by Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport. Those involved in identifying both a shortlist and winner include journalist and technology expert Lucy Hedges, Matt Stagg, director of mobile strategy, BT Sport, Christian Thrane, managing director, marketing, for BT’s consumer division and Andrew Mensah, leading social media influencer and presenter of BT Sport programing including What I Wore.

Following the deadline for entries on 31 July, finalists will be invited to present their proposals to the panel at the BT Sport studios in East London in September, before a winner is selected. The finalists will also have access to Marc Allera, CEO, BT’s consumer division, for a unique chance to gain insight into innovation and technology from one of the leading FTSE 100 chief executives in the country.

Marc Allera, CEO, BT’s consumer division, said: “Delivering world class customer experiences is one of BT’s core objectives. Innovate 21 from BT Sport is a rare and exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to join that effort but also to gain access to BT’s renowned expertise and leadership around technology, products and innovation.”

Entrants are encouraged to submit proposals in areas including, but not limited to, the Matchday Experience offering on the BT Sport App, ideas which have a strong sustainability, inclusivity or accessibility focus and ideas which enhance the live sports experience. Full terms and conditions and details of how to enter are available at www.bt.com/innovate21.

BT Sport has a rich history of providing entrepreneurs with opportunities to be at the heart of innovation. Since winning the 2018 BT Infinity Lab competition, Sceenic has worked with BT Sport to support last year’s launch of Watch Together on the BT Sport App. Meanwhile, the winner of the 2016 BT Infinity Lab competition, Seenit, enabled fans to send in short video reports and comments from stadia around the country as part of BT Sport’s Premier League Tonight show.

Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT is offering entrepreneurs the chance to join BT Sport’s industry-leading pursuit of providing the ultimate sports viewing experiences to customers. We are proud to have continually given our customers even more ways to watch and experience sport in recent years and Innovate 21 looks set to raise the bar even further for what BT Sport’s customers can enjoy.”

BT has been at the heart of sports broadcasting innovation over recent years:

  • Last October, BT Sport and EE teamed up to launched Matchday Experience on the BT Sport App, offering fans the most immersive sports viewing experience anywhere in the UK, powered by EE’s number one 5G network. Features include Watch Together - the only service in the UK allowing fans to watch, see and chat with three other friends, alongside any BT Sport broadcast, thanks to a split-screen interface.

  • BT Sport was the first broadcaster to show live content in 4K and UHD in 2015 and the first to adopt Dolby Atmos in 2016. BT Sport has also embraced social media, being the first to show the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals on YouTube and showing content such as BT Sport Score live for free on Twitter and Facebook.

  • In 2019, BT Sport collaborated with BT’s Media & Broadcast arm to broadcast the world’s first live 8K test broadcast, into the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam.

  • In 2018 BT Sport and EE successfully carried out the world’s first live broadcast over 5G using remote production, delivering a two-way transmission from Wembley Stadium to London’s ExCeL exhibition centre.


About BT Sport

Launched in 2013, BT Sport broadcasts in the UK and Republic of Ireland with around five million subscribers. BT Sport offers five linear TV channels BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3, BT Sport ESPN, BT Sport 4K UHD, six interactive BT Sport Extra channels and is available on BT TV, Sky, Virgin and Talk Talk. BT Sport is also available online and via the App on mobile and large screen devices and operates pay per view channel, BT Sport Box Office.

BT Sport has a track record of innovation, operating from one of industry’s most sophisticated sports TV studios, and delivering world-firsts around Virtual Reality, Dolby Atmos, 4K UHD and remote production. Its achievements have been recognized with awards from IBC, Promax, Music Week and more.

As well as the sole UK rights holder for all of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, BT Sport offers live sport programming including the English Premier League, Emirates FA Cup, FA WSL, boxing, UFC, WWE, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Heineken Champions Cup and MotoGP.


About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2020, BT Group’s reported revenue was £22,905m with reported profit before taxation of £2,353m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about