Ericsson to help BT deliver Champions League TV coverage
Ericsson will provide the technology for BT to launch its new sports channels later this summer.
The communications provider has been appointed to design, build and run BT Sport Europe, free-to-air service BT Sport Showcase and BT Sport UHD, the UK’s first ultra high-definition – or 4K – channel.
Ericsson will also help deliver BT Sport’s new red button service, which will allow viewers to choose between European football games being played simultaneously.
BT announced earlier this month that all of next season’s UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches will be free for BT TV customers.
Now it has revealed that Ericsson will provide the new services and will continue to deliver BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 2 for at least the next three years.
Ericsson’s responsibilities include the transmission of the channels and the provision of access services such as subtitles and audio description.
Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer for BT Sport and BT TV, said: "BT Sport's UEFA Champions League coverage sets out to bring viewers the best ever experience of football's leading club competition.
“Our 4K coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside other competitions will bring a truly cinematic experience into fans' living rooms.”
Thorsten Sauer, head of broadcast and media services at Ericsson, said: “We are very proud that BT has selected Ericsson to help launch a new range of high-profile TV services, including the UK's first UHDTV channel.
“BT Sport has made a significant commitment to its sport broadcasting portfolio, and we are delighted that Ericsson will play an integral role in its future success.
“This partnership is a significant win for our business and really underlines our role as a trusted partner to some of the world's leading broadcasters and sports rights holders.
“We will continue to work hard to deliver high-quality, innovative services.”
BT Sport was launched in August 2013 and currently shows exclusively live Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League matches.
Customers can also enjoy live football from top-flight European leagues, including Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1.
BT Sport is available via BT TV, Sky's satellite platform, Virgin Media and via the BT Sport App.
Ericsson and BT Sport have been working on UHDTV together for some time, combining in 2013 for the first full multi-camera production of a sports event captured in 4K UHDTV and transmitted live internationally via satellite and fibre.
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