Saracens wait to see BT's vision of the future
Monday 21 January 2013
Saracens are keeping an open mind as they prepare for the visit on Thursday of BT Vision, which will unveil its plans for covering rugby union from the Premiership.
BT, already involved in football, have signed a £152m deal for the exclusive UK rights to Aviva Premiership games, currently broadcast by rivals ESPN and BSkyB. The deal will see up to 69 live Aviva Premiership matches per season shown exclusively by BT Vision, when the telecoms company will also begin broadcasting live Premier League football for the first time.
BT Vision is doing the rounds of the Premiership clubs, explaining their coverage requirements – which include filming in dressing rooms, new camera angles and various radical technical innovations including teams revealing elements of their gameplan to TV commentators, players being filmed in training or as they enter the sin bin, all of which were revealed in yesterday's Independent on Sunday.
A Saracens spokesman said: "When ESPN first appeared on the scene, they came to see us and explained their plans and sought our views before anything was agreed.
"BT Vision will meet with our chief executive Edward Griffiths and other club officials on Thursday, when we'll discover how they want to cover games. It would be foolish to second-guess the situation until we know what's on the table."
A BT spokesman said: "It's an opportunity to explore new innovative formats. Whilst it's too early to go into any more detail, BT Sport intends to bring the very best coverage to a world class game."
Under the deal with Premership Rugby, the umbrella organisation of the Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs, BT will also have live broadcast rights to the JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens from 2013-14, and European games featuring Aviva Premiership clubs from 2014-15.
Rugby is seen as a support player in BT's battle for subscribers after they paid £738m to show Premier League football. ESPN signed a three-year deal in 2010 with the Aviva Premiership for the rights forfeited by Irish broadcaster Setanta, and have been sharing coverage with BskyB. It's believed they tried to renegotiate a lower price only to be caught off-guard by BT's offer.
ESPN charge a monthly subscription to Sky viewers, but viewing figures for their live rugby including the Premiership final each May have mostly been below 100,000.
VIDEO: Did Marcos Maidana bite Floyd Mayweather during their bout?
Manchester United vs QPR comment: Glimpse of Radamel Falcao lifts United hearts but Daley Blind keeps things ticking
Hull City vs West Ham preview: Sam Allardyce backs Alex Song to inspire new team-mates
Rio Ferdinand: David Moyes's tactics were embarrassing and I wanted to grab him when he dropped me in front of Manchester United squad
Manchester United vs QPR player ratings: Who was the star man? Angel Di Maria? Daley Blind? Wayne Rooney?
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke