Simon Green to Lead BT’s New Sports Channel

By Community | October 17, 2012

British Telecom’s (BT) new sports channel has a new head to lead the launch after former CEO of boxing promoter Frank Warren’s BoxNation, Simon Green was appointed to the role.

Simon Green will start work as the head of the new BT Sports Channel from November 1 reporting to BT Vision CEO Marc Watson.

Green has 20 years experience in sport broadcasting including spells with The Football Association, Setanta and the Ukrainian Football Channel. He is currently head of BoxNation, a boxing channel that launched in September on Sky and Virgin Media.

BT intends to launch its new sports channel on Sky as well, adopting the same model Setanta Sports used several years ago whereby Sky carries the channel but subscribers deal directly with the owner.

ESPN, the current secondary broadcaster of Premier League games uses a model whereby subscribers buy the channel directly from Sky who then pay ESPN.

Negotiations over this, and a wholesale agreement with Virgin Media, where they sell the channel onto customers, are ongoing.

BT announced its arrival on the live sport scene in the UK with a bang earlier this year when it agreed a three-year deal to pay £246m ($398m) a season for 38 live Premier League football games, including several ‘first picks’ which will enable it to screen the best game of the weekend ahead of the league’s main broadcaster Sky Sports.

It has also paid £152m for live Rugby Union rights over three years in a controversial deal that has split the sport’s main European competition.

The move into live sports broadcasting is designed to boost BT’s triple-play customer base – that is subscribers who take TV, phone and broadband from a single supplier. BT believes this gives it the edge over other companies that have previously tried to take on Sky’s stranglehold on live sport in the UK and failed.

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