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BT Sport makes another big-name signing: Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale, latest signing by BT Sport

Gareth Bale, latest signing by BT Sport

Premier League footballer Gareth Bale, winger for Tottenham Hotspur and Wales, has been recruited by UK telco BT to help market its upcoming BT sport channels, and will also feature regularly as a guest on the various programmes they will offer.

Bale, at 23 one of the most exciting players in the English Premiership, will be at the forefront of BT’s marketing campaigns to promote BT Sport, which will show 38 live Premier League games a season for three years starting in August 2013.

The Welsh winger has already scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, and will act as an ambassador for the next three years. Bale starred in BT’s TV ads in 2010 when the company started selling Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to its customers.

Gareth said: “I am delighted to continue my relationship with BT by becoming a BT Ambassador. I feel honoured to join an exciting band of inspirational sporting figures, which has included Olympic heroes like the Brownlee brothers and Paralympic gold medallist Jonnie Peacock.

“A great deal has changed in my football career since my first partnership with BT, and I am happy to extend that relationship for the next three years. I am excited about the launch of BT Sport and I am happy to play my part in making it a big hit.”

As well as the rights to show 38 live games a season from the English Premier League, including 18 of the top picks, BT Sport has also secured the rights to live top tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the US.

Furthermore, BT’s recent acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup, Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also show up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership, and the telco has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships.

The BT Sport channels will be launched on BT’s IPTV service ‘BT Vision’ this summer, and most likely also on its new YouView-based TV service, for which it had amassed 60,000 subscribers by the end of 2012. BT Vision remains the company’s biggest TV proposition however, with 770,000 paying customers by the end of last year.

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