BT Poaches BBC Host for Soccer Channel
The telecom giant signs sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey to be the face of its English Premier League soccer channel starting next year.
LONDON – U.K. telecoms giant and pay TV operator BT has signed BBC sports broadcaster Jake Humphrey to front its upcoming Premier League soccer channel coverage.
Humphrey will anchor BT’s forthcoming new sports channel in January 2013 on a four-year deal.
It's a statement of ambition by BT for its output as Humphrey is a well-known BBC soccer presenter whose resume boasts work at this summer's European Championships football coverage from Poland and Ukraine.
Humphrey, who has spent 10 years with the BBC, is best known for fronting the broadcaster’s Formula 1 coverage as well as a stint covering the London 2012 Olympics for BBC1 and BBC3 and co-hosting the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
He is lined up to be the studio face of BT Vision’s Barclays Premier League programming from the start of the 2013/14 season in August next year.
BT secured the rights to show 38 live games a season for three seasons, including 18 of the best quality "first pick" games, which is the first time anyone but satellite broadcaster Sky has won any of the prime live Premier League matches.
As well as hosting live coverage of the 38 games, the 33-year-old broadcaster will also be involved with the channel’s other football programming.
BT Vision chief executive Marc Watson said: "He [Humphrey] impressed us with his willingness to get deeply involved in the development of our live football programming and we took into account his track record of excellent presenting across many sports. He fits our plans for the new channel perfectly and we are very excited to be working with him."
Humphrey described presenting Premier League soccer matches as a "lifelong dream" and promised a "fresh perspective that BT will bring to both sport and broadcasting in this country."
He added: "I've grown up at the BBC, and whilst I hope to work with them in the future, I'd also like to place on record my thanks to them."