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BT vision is to 'demystify' rugby
ESPN Staff
April 16, 2013
A TV cameraman prepares for the 2007 Rugby World Cup clash between Italy and Portugal at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 19, 2007.
BT is the future ...but it still does not know what it can show © Getty Images

Despite not knowing if it will be able to broadcast the Heineken Cup, BT Vision, rugby's new broadcast partners in the UK, has made clear it believes that coverage will form a key part of its plans. It has also indicated it will aim to "de-mystify" the game.

BT Vision want to show matches from the competition but on European Rugby Cup (ERC) organisers have sold the TV rights to rivals Sky. Both ERC and Sky are refusing to concede and the matter is likely to continue to rumble on for some time.

"Our view is that heading into 2014-15 we want to be part of that [European] competition, whatever that competition becomes," Grant Best, senior channel executive producer, told Media Guardian. "We did a deal for what we thought would involve that tournament."

From July BT Vision will show Aviva Premiership and sevens rugby as well as weekly matches from France's Top 14, and rights to the Heineken Cup from the start of 2014-15 would make it the must-have rugby broadcaster.

Speaking to Media Guardian, Laurence Dallaglio, the one big-name signing for BT Vision's rugby coverage so far unveiled, said the plan was to "demystify" the game for non-enthusiasts ahead of the 2015 World Cup

"We need to get a little bit away from being seen as an elitist middle class sport and attract other viewers," he said. "The game has to de-complicate itself without losing the essence of what attracts traditional fans and put the viewers at the heart of the experience."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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