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BT shoots ahead of rivals with more football rights

BT has boosted its new sports channel ahead of launch next summer by snapping up rights to live football from Italy, France, Brazil and the US.

BT Sports will be launched in time for the 2013-14 season with 38 live games from the Barclays Premier League as its showpiece. BT signed a three-year deal to snatch the rights from ESPN.

Yesterday's deal was also for footage previously shown on Disney-owned ESPN and gives BT the football rights for multiple years, including 380 live Serie A matches per season. Last month, BT paid £152m for the rights to live Aviva Premiership rugby for four years from next season. It also has the rights to show British teams' involvement in European competition from 2014-17.