BT calls in Pitch PR for Premier League football channels launch

BT has appointed Pitch PR to handle the launch of two sports television channels this summer as part of a brief potentially worth up to £3m.

Premier offer: BT Vision is to screen live Premier League football
Premier offer: BT Vision is to screen live Premier League football

The launch will see the telecoms giant going up against pay-TV leader Sky in Premier League football coverage for the first time, in a bid for new subscribers.

BT has invested in sports content in an effort to boost its BT Vision television service, which it sells as a 'triple-play' bundle with its broadband and telephone services.

PRWeek reported BT had called a pitch process in November last year for an agency to help it promote BT Vision and its sports channels, which may be carried on other platforms.

As of last September, BT Vision had attracted just over 750,000 subscribers, far below early forecasts of three million and way below Sky's ten million-strong customer base.

A well-placed source said: 'This isn't just about launching a TV channel - it's key to BT's proposition going forward and it has invested a lot of money in it. The launch will be high-profile in what is a very competitive market.'

Alongside the build-up and launch of the channels this summer, Pitch may have the opportunity to put forward additional sponsorship and experiential ideas for the account, boosting it up to a potential £3m.

BT's rights-buying spree included paying £738m to screen 38 Premier League matches per season during the three seasons from this August, displacing ESPN, though Sky still secured the other five of the seven match packages.

BBC sports presenter Jake Humphrey is leaving the corporation to head BT Vision's Premier League coverage.

Pitch PR declined to comment, as did BT, which confirmed the appointment.

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