BT Sports buys live football rights

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The Independent Online

BT has boosted its new sports channel ahead of launch next summer by snapping up rights to live football matches 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 matches a season from Italy's Serie A.

The company last month spent £152m to secure four-year rights to show live Aviva Premiership rugby union matches from next season and also has the rights to broadcast British teams' involvement in European competitions for three years from 2014.