BT nets Vanarama football league rights for three more seasons | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Vanarama 11March2018Proving that for the pay-TV operator football is not just about the Premier League, BT Sport has renewed its exclusive rights to broadcast the Vanarama National League for a further three years, until 2021.

Sponsored by Vanarama for the past four seasons, and formed in 1979, the National League has 68 members clubs in three divisions and operates league competitions for the fifth and sixth-tiers of English football. BT Sport has been broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of English football's fifth tier since its launch in August 2013 and the new deal will see typically one match broadcast live each match-week, normally in a regular Saturday slot. Each season, BT Sport's coverage will follow the championship race and the end-of-season playoffs at Wembley through which one team gains a second promotion place into the English Football League.

BT Sport's live Vanarama National League match coverage is led by presenters Matt Smith and James Richardson with commentators Adam Summerton and former Celtic and Brighton & Hove Albion star Adam Virgo. Joining them are regular pundits Dean Saunders, who has managed several National League clubs following a playing career with Liverpool and Wales, and Chris Hargreaves, who has managed National League side Torquay United. Additionally, the deal sees the continuation of a tie-up between league and broadcast partner through which media students from around the country receive broadcast production training from BT and go on to help create BT Sport's weekly Sunday night National League highlights show.

"BT Sport is proud to continue our support for the pinnacle of English football's non-league game," said head of BT Sport Simon Green. "We look forward to bringing our viewers the many storylines that enrich this league's narrative and which features some of English football's most well-known clubs. Additionally, over the past few years our student initiative has underlined our commitment to non-League football."

Added National League chairman Brian Barwick: "After fully testing the market place, we are pleased to renew our partnership with BT Sport for a further three years. BT Sport has produced excellent coverage of the Vanarama National League, and this new deal will extend BT Sport's investment in our increasingly watched and highly respected competition."