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BT Sport signs deal with Virgin just in time for Premier League kick-off

Virgin Media has signed a three-year wholesale deal with BT to allow its customers to view BT Sport.

The agreement significantly boosts the number of homes that can watch BT Sport from this weekend - the start of the Premier League football season.

Before the Virgin deal, BT claimed that over one million households could access BT Sport through various channels, including broadband links.

The wholesale deal will enable Virgin Media to offer BT Sport directly to its 3.8 million cable TV customers. This means BT Sport 1 and 2 are now available across all the major TV platforms in the UK, including cable, satellite, DTT and broadband.

The agreement will enable Virgin Media to provide BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN to their XL TV customers as part of their packages, without the need for those customers to take any action. Virgin Media will offer the channels as a standalone premium service to TV customers who do not take the XL pack.

Marc Watson, BT TV chief executive said, “I am delighted we have signed a deal with Virgin Media that increases the audience for BT Sport to around three million homes overnight."

BT Sport will show 38 live football matches from the Premier League, including 18 of the "top picks", for each of the next three seasons. The channels will also show live FA Cup matches for the next five seasons, among a number of other sports.

Last month BT announced a company re-organisation to help it better compete against the likes of Sky and Virgin Media.