BT mounts irreverent challenge to Sky coverage

Danny Baker is a veteran of the sport broadcasting world
Danny Baker is a veteran of the sport broadcasting world
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Telecoms group BT is reuniting veteran sports pundits Danny Baker and Danny Kelly to front a football show on its TV service as it prepares for a battle with Sky later this year.

The broadcasters will present Baker and Kelly’s Vaguely Sporting Phone-Out, an interactive football show that will run on Friday evenings for 40 weeks throughout the 201314 season on BT Sport.

The first show will air on 16 August, the day before the English football season kicks off.

The two Dannys have worked together on football shows for various radio stations over the past 20 years, most notably for BBC Radio 5live. Their hiring is the latest move in BT’s efforts to take on dominant player Sky in the sports broadcasting market.

The former state-owned phone company announced last month that it would offer 38 live broadcasts of English Premier League matches to its broadband customers who pay £15 a month for its “super-fast” fibre-optic service.

Its channels will also show live FA Cup, Europa League and Scottish Premier League matches, as well as top tier live football from abroad, including Brazil, France, Germany and Italy.

Baker, who presented the original 606 football phone-in, said: “We intend to make all other twisted opinion shows seem as dull as egg eating contests. No wait, egg eating contests are pretty cool aren’t they?”

Kelly added: “Seriously, we’re delighted to have another crack at whatever it is that we do. Only BT Sport could combine the strategic vision and financial muscle to make this happen. It’s even possible they won’t regret it.”