Broadcaster BT Sport has renewed its exclusive rights to broadcast the Vanarama National League for a further three years, until 2021.
BT Sport has been broadcasting live and exclusive coverage of English football’s fifth tier since its launch in August 2013. 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 exciting end-of-season playoffs at Wembley through which one team gains a second promotion place into the English Football League.
Additionally, the deal sees the continuation of an innovative tie-up between league and broadcast partner --- first launched in 2016 --- 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’s live Vanarama National League match coverage is led by presenters Matt Smith and James Richardson with commentators Adam Summerton and 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.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “BT Sport is proud to continue our support for the pinnacle of English football’s non-league game. We look forward to bringing our viewers the many storylines that enrich this league’s narrative, 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.”
Brian Barwick, Chairman of The National League, said: “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.”