ITV eyes up BT Premier League production contract

ITV is looking to bid for the contract to produce BT's Barclays Premier League coverage, although the two companies are not discussing the possibility of airing football on ITV channels.

Machester City: Premier League champions for the 2011/12 season
Machester City: Premier League champions for the 2011/12 season

It is understood that discussions have taken place between BT and ITV about the possibility of ITV’s production arm, ITV Studios, producing BT's football programming when BT's Premier League rights begin next year.

Although BT has not yet issued a tender for its production requirements, sources suggest that it will start the formal process "imminently".

ITV has moved quickly to deny a report in The Daily Telegraph that suggested ITV and BT were discussing the possibility of ITV airing some of the games for which BT has the rights from August 2013.

A spokesman for ITV said: "We are not talking to BT about taking any of their Premier League matches for broadcast on ITV channels."

Although sources close to ITV accepted the possibility of broadcasting Premier League games on ITV channels was discussed as part of early stage negotiations, there are no live talks at present.

It has been suggested that ITV would serve as a "shop window" for BT by airing the games and that BT might recoup some of the £738m it paid for the rights through advertising.

However, a media agency source disputed whether BT would seriously consider an ad-funded model for any of its games, as Premier League coverage "doesn’t pay its way from an advertising perspective".

ITV Studios already produces its own football programming, as well as Al Jazeera's Premier League coverage, and is likely to be up against sports programming companies such as IMG and Sunset+Vine for the BT contract.

The spokesman for ITV said: "If BT were looking for a production company to produce their Premier League coverage, that is something that we would of course look at, as we do with other potential contracts."

It emerged that BT had swooped for the rights to broadcast Premier League games in June, when it was awarded two of the league’s seven packages of games running from the 2013/14 season to the 2015/16 season, in return for £738m.

A spokesman for BT declined to comment.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose has joined forces with Channel 4 and produced a Saturday morning lifestyle and cookery programme called 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose', with TV presenters Lisa Snowdon and Steve Jones signed up to front it.

Share
Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

The Guardian reached more than 100 million monthly unique browsers for the first time in March, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published today.

Share
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Italians swearing and shouting while sitting behind the wheels of their cars and negotiating the busy streets of Rome could become a thing of the past if they all start driving Toyota's Hybrid vehicles, implies a short film for the car brand.

Share

Get news by email