ITV and BT still mulling tie-up to screen footie

BT and ITV could face severe obstacles in cutting a deal to allow the terrestrial broadcaster to screen live Premier League games, although a tie-up is still being considered, sources said yesterday.

An unprecedented sub-licensing deal, which would see ITV screen one or two of BT’s matches, would face considerable difficulty in complying with regulations. Any agreement would have to be approved by the Premier League, which sold BT the rights to 114 games over three seasons from next year and is keen to keep its matches on pay TV to protect their value.

ITV said yesterday that it has not held talks with BT, although its production arm ITV Studios could produce content for BT’s sports channel when it launches next year. However, City A.M. understands that ITV executives have been sounded out about showing one or two games at the start of the 2013-14 season to promote BT’s offering as an alternative to Sky’s.

BT did not comment yesterday.