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ITV Sport and NTL Team Up
By: Rob Sedgwick
ITV Sport Channel has signed a carriage deal with NTL, the largest cable TV company in the UK, bringing another two million potential subscribers to the channel. The channel will also be carried on ONdigital, which will be re-branded as ITV Digital on 11 July 2001.
The channel, which launches on 11 August, will offer more than 150 live football matches each season, including exclusive live coverage from the world's most prestigious club competition - the UEFA Champions League, plus the Nationwide League and The Worthington Cup.
ITV Sport Channel will be the first new premium sports service to launch in the UK for a decade and is backed by the reputation and popularity of the country's most respected sports broadcaster, ITV Sport.
Stuart Prebble, Chief Executive of ITV said: "We are delighted that NTL has confirmed carriage of ITV Sport Channel. Both ITV Digital and NTL believe in the need continually to improve our offering to customers, and we believe that ITV Sport Channel does just that - twice as much live football as satellite, backed by ITV's unrivalled talent and style. ITV Sport Channel will be a real advantage for the DTT and NTL platforms."
Stephen Carter, managing director of NTL says: "We're very happy to agree to show the ITV Sport Channel. We're determined to bring the best channels to our customers and we have no doubt that sports fans will love the ITV Sport Channel."
The UEFA Champions League has become the pinnacle of competitive football in Europe and will provide the cornerstone of the new channel with unrivalled coverage of live matches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the competition's 17-week format. The new channel will combine live football with feature-led programming to give viewers complete coverage of the UEFA Champions League.
ITV Sport Channel will also launch the most comprehensive commitment to the Nationwide League yet seen on British television. With a total of 80 live matches to be screened on Thursdays and Sundays, the new channel will raise the profile and extend the experience enjoyed by millions of followers of English football's original league competition. With a diet of live matches, extensive highlights, intelligent and informed analysis, club and player profiles and other innovative feature programming, it will provide the depth and quality of coverage that the Nationwide League has not enjoyed before.
A total of 15 major Worthington Cup ties will also be shown live. It is midweek cup football played to a finish - under floodlights - and down the years has provided some great moments and matches. It guarantees European football for its winner.
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