Sky has scored first in its battle with BT over capturing the eyeballs of the UK’s sports fans by securing Jose Mourinho’s first match back in charge of Chelsea.
Sky will also show David Moyes’ eagerly awaited first game in charge of Manchester United in a free-to-air live broadcast of the team’s match against Swansea on August 17.
BT Sport’s first English premier league game will be to some minds the somewhat less lip-smackingly enticing fixture of Liverpool v Stoke, it has emerged, as both sides reveal their picks for the first part of the2013/14 season.
BT’s other top matches in the opening weeks are the London derby clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea and the Merseyside derby, Everton against Liverpool.
BT can still exercise some flexibility in the second half of the season as it has only employed five of its 18 first picks, leaving with it with 13 first picks at the end of the season. Sky has exercised eight of its 20 picks, leaving it with 12.
BT Sport promises be “more relaxed” than Sky’s current offerings and probably involve less statistical analysis, a senior company source has already told RadioTimes.com.
The source told RadioTimes.com that the channel would be “less formal” than the Sky’s coverage which features large amounts of statistical data and onscreen technical gizmos – and would be aiming to appeal to sport’s fans of all kinds and tastes.
Jake Humphrey will be the main face of BT Sportwhile the punditry will be provided by a number of veteran or former stars of the game including Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand.
BT Sport’s current deal will see it feature 38 live Premier League games each year for the next three seasons, including 18 ‘first pick’ matches. There will also be live games from other leagues around the world – including Germany, France, Italy and Brazil – as well as FA Cup ties, the UEFA Europa League and Scottish Premier League.
The service will be available for free to all BT Broadband subscribers.
Sky has 116 games a season over the same period and has paid considerably more for the privilege.