BT acquires top-tier overseas football rights
BT has further bolstered the line-up of its forthcoming sports channel by securing the rights to a string of top international football leagues.
The telecoms giant has struck multi-year deals with Italy's Serie A, France's Ligue 1, Major League Soccer in the US and Brazil's Brasileirao, although the value of the agreements has not been disclosed.
Several live matches will be aired each week by BT's sports channel, which will also feature 38 live fixtures per season from the Premier League thanks to a £738 million deal announced earlier this year.
Furthermore, BT has bagged the exclusive rights to Aviva Premiership rugby union, as well as the chance to broadcast matches played by English clubs in any future European tournaments for three years from 2014-15.
The development could mark the beginning of the end for US-owned sports broadcaster ESPN, which previously held many of the rights acquired by BT in recent months.
Speculation over the future of ESPN in the UK has been rife after the channel's vice president of TV in Europe, the Middle East and Africa Jeroen Oerlemans stepped down recently.
"We are actively exploring a range of potential options for our business," an ESPN spokesman told City AM.