BT Sport unveils line-up of sporting talent


T Sport today revealed the latest line-up of presenters, commentators and experts to join the channels. Among the team are some big name signings from the worlds of Football, Rugby and Tennis.

BT Sport today revealed the latest line-up of presenters, commentators and experts to join the channels. Among the team are some big name signings from the worlds of Football, Rugby and Tennis. 

Well known sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey will be the anchor of BT Sport’s 38 exclusively live Barclays Premier League football matches. 

England and Manchester United superstar Rio Ferdinand will also play a big part in BT Sport’s football coverage. Ferdinand joins the BT Sport team as an interviewer, programme-maker and football expert. 

BT Sport will also have a team of football experts offering opinion and analysis as part of its coverage. Double Champions League winners Owen Hargreaves and Steve McManaman will be joined by former England No1 goalkeeper David James MBE, all qualified to give the best insight to BT Sport viewers. 

Joining BT Sport as football commentators will be Ian Darke and Darren Fletcher. Darke has covered all 21 seasons of the Barclays Premier League as well as Champions League finals and five World Cups for various broadcasters. Fletcher joins BT Sport after becoming one of the most familiar voices on BBC Radio 5 Live, through his excellent football commentary on Barclays Premier League, European Championships and World Cups. 

Joining them will be former Liverpool and England legend Michael Owen who will retire after the 2012-2013 season and will take up the key role of co-commentator. 

In addition, Premier League referee Mark Halsey joins BT Sport in August in a brand new role in the commentary team working across the channels’ football coverage. Halsey has refereed in the Premier League since 1999, officiating over some of the biggest games. 

Established ESPN broadcaster Ray Stubbs will also join as chief football reporter, bringing a wealth of experience, having reported on a variety of major sporting events over the years. 

Accomplished journalist and sports broadcaster Des Kelly joins BT Sport to present a new sports magazine programme, ‘Life’s a Pitch’. Kelly is a past winner of the UK Sports Columnist of the Year award. 

Alongside the Barclays Premier League, BT Sport has also secured the rights to live top tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA. And BT’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup, the German Bundesliga, Scottish Premier League and Europa League. 

BT Sport will show exclusive coverage of up to 69 live rugby union games from the Aviva Premiership. Coverage will be presented by established broadcaster Craig Doyle. He will be joined by former England captain and lead rugby expert Lawrence Dallaglio. He will feature both as a co-commentator and studio analyst for live matches. Joining them will be former England internationals Matt Dawson, Ben Kay, Austin Healey and Martin Bayfield. Skilled broadcasters Nick Mullins and Alastair Ekyn will commentate across the channels’ rugby coverage and highly regarded Sarra Elgan joins as a reporter and presenter. 

BT Sport has also signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to show matches from 21 global tournaments, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. WTA coverage will be presented by TV and radio personality Lynsey Hipgrave and she will be joined by the greatest female tennis player of all time Martina Navratilova, who will be the channels’ tennis expert and tournament anchor. Both Nick Mullins and Alastair Eykyn will also commentate on WTA Tennis. BT has also signed up British female tennis star Heather Watson to star in the TV advertising campaign. 

Sport entertainment shows announced so far on BT Sport will be presented by Clare Balding and Tim Lovejoy. Award-winning broadcaster Balding will present and co-produce a weekly sports magazine chat show that will feature interviews with major sporting names and discussion of big sporting issues. The show will also shine a spotlight on women’s sport. Well-known broadcaster Lovejoy will present a weekend sports magazine programme along with guest co presenters. 

BT Sport has also signed up current football, rugby and tennis stars to act as Ambassadors for the channels. As well as featuring in TV ads and marketing campaigns, the Ambassadors will also make regular guest appearances on the new BT Sport channels. 

Spurs hero, PFA Player and Young Player of the Year and the Football Writers Association player of the year, Gareth Bale will be at the forefront of BT’s marketing campaign. Joining him for the next three years as Ambassadors will be Barclays Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie of Manchester United and Arsenal and England star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. BT Sport has also signed up Everton star Marouane Fellaini, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen and England Number 1 and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. 

Joining as Ambassadors from the world of Rugby Union are England and Harlequins, captain Chris Robshaw, Leicester Tigers player Manu Tuilagi, and Saracens’ Owen Farrell. 

Grant Best, senior executive channel producer, BT Sport said, “We are delighted to unveil today’s strong line-up of real sporting experts who will keep our viewers informed and seriously entertained.”