BT Sport renews live broadcast rights deal for the National League
BT Sport has retained the exclusive rights to broadcast live coverage of the National League, England’s fifth tier, for a further three years.
The new deal will last until the end of the 2023-24 season. As with previous deals for the National League, the number of matches to be broadcast was not disclosed but BT Sport is promising to broadcast live matches each week in a regular Saturday slot.
BT Sport has been broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of English football’s fifth tier since 2013.
Alongside the weekly live match coverage, all the goals from every National League match will be shown in the weekly National League Highlights show. The show is created through an innovative link between BT and students associated with selected National League clubs who receive broadcast training from BT to go on and help create the show.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “Over the past few years we’ve developed an innovative relationship with the league, including world-first 5G-enabled remote broadcasts and training local students who help create BT Sport’s National League highlights shows. The National League remain a valued partner to BT, particularly during the pandemic, in staging last season’s playoff matches and the 2020-21 season.”
BT Sport’s coverage, led by presenter Matt Smith, follows the regular-season championship race plus the exciting end-of-season playoffs through which one team gains a second promotion place into the English Football League.
Alongside Smith are commentators Adam Summerton and Adam Virgo plus pundits including former Norwich City and Barrow striker Grant Holt, former Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves and former Southport manager Kevin Davies. Joining them are reporters Natalie Quirk and Becky Ives.
Brian Barwick, chairman of the National League, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with BT Sport. Their coverage of the Vanarama National League has been simply outstanding.
“Informed and comprehensive, our League has been broadcast in a highly polished and professional fashion. A lot of hard work over the last past seven years has produced some exceptional television.
“The new three-year contract will take us into over a decade of coverage by BT Sport. This speaks volumes for the confidence we have in how our matches have been brought to an established and growing audience”.
National League coverage is available on TV, through the BT Sport app on smart TVs and games consoles, mobiles and tablets.