BT Sport and Irish provinces ‘in sponsorship talks’

TV company also wants to add Welsh sides to portfolio

BT Sport already sponsor Scottish sides Edinburgh (pictured) and Glasgow. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

BT Sport already sponsor Scottish sides Edinburgh (pictured) and Glasgow. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

Sun, Dec 22, 2013, 12:48

BT Sport is reportedly in advanced sponsorship negotiations with the Irish provinces and the Welsh regions.

The company already back Scottish teams Edinburgh and Glasgow through shirt sponsorship and they are now said to be targeting all four Irish provinces as well as Welsh sides Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

“Rugby is at the heart of BT Sport, and so we talk to people all the time,” a BT Sport spokesperson told Press Association Sport.

“We have helped to raise the profile of the club game in England by showing three live matches at weekends, and we plan to build on the successful start we have made.”

BT Sport’s fierce rivals Sky will broadcast live RaboDirect Pro12 games for the first time from next season, while BT Sport recently outbid Sky by landing a three-year £900 million deal to screen Uefa Champions League games.

And BT Sport’s reported interest in expanding their rugby portfolio comes with the future of European Cup rugby for next season still shrouded by uncertainty.

Talks between the six nations comprising top-level European rugby took place in Dublin on Friday, with further discussions planned for next month.

At the moment, England’s 12 Premiership clubs will not play in European competition from next season after refusing to negotiate with European Rugby Cup. Premiership Rugby began serving a two-year notice period to quit ERC in June 2012.

Premiership Rugby have also seen their attempts to form a breakaway Rugby Champions Cup dashed, at least for the time being, and English clubs could face a season without European rugby next term, although there has also been intense speculation about a new Anglo-Welsh league being formed.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.