BT Sport continues to invest in football line-up

BT Sport: announces signing of Paul Scholes as football pundit
BT Sport: announces signing of Paul Scholes as football pundit

BT Sport continues to invest in its football coverage ahead of the new Premier League season starting next month.

Former Manchester United and England player Paul Scholes has signed a four-year deal to become a pundit for BT Sport today.

The ex-midfielder, 39, who only retired from playing for the second time just over a year ago, will join the panel of analysts for exclusively live matches in the Barclays Premier League from the start of the new season next month. He will also work as a pundit covering the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League from the start of the 2015-16 season.

Scholes' move follows Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, signing a three-year deal with BT Sport earlier this month for various roles for the channel, including making football programmes, acting as an expert on the game and becoming an ambassador for the network.

Extends Arsenal FC partnership

BT Sport has also extended its deal as an official partner of Arsenal Football Club – now in its second year – for a further two years.

The partnership enables BT Sport to continue to promote its football coverage through Arsenal’s own digital channels in the UK and Ireland.

In addition, the agreement will give the broadcaster access to Arsenal's first-team players and manager to create unique and exclusive content to support and enhance BT Sport’s Barclays Premier League coverage.

The advertising campaign for BT Sport’s upcoming season will continue on Thursday 31 July, when press and TV ads will depict Arsenal’s triumph in the FA Cup last season. It has been created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO with media planning and buying by Maxus.

It is in stark contrast to BT Sport’s first part of its ad campaign, which featured Arsenal losing to Chelsea and Liverpool last season and attracted hundreds of complaints from Arsenal fans via social media.

David James, marketing director at BT Consumer, said: "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Arsenal Football Club. Our long-standing relationship with the club helps us to deliver an extra level of insight for our viewers.

"Arsenal had a great season last year, bringing back silverware to Emirates Stadium, and our latest ad recognises that fantastic achievement, which we were delighted to show live on BT Sport."

Increases European coverage

BT Sport has also signed a deal for up to four exclusively live matches a week from the Portuguese Primeira Liga, taking the channel's total to six European leagues.

The Portuguese rights include live home and away matches played by the league’s "Big Three" teams, current league champions Benfica, Porto FC and Sporting Lisbon.

For the 2014/15 season, BT Sport will also show live matches from Germany's Bundesliga, France's Ligue1, Italy's Serie A and the Scottish Professional Football League.

BT Sport's Barclays Premier League coverage starts with Louis van Gaal’s first league game as the new Manchester United manager, against Swansea, on 16 August.

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