LONDON Nov 29 BT will base its new sports
television unit in the Olympic Park, boosting efforts to ensure
that the Games provide lasting economic benefits to what was a
rundown part of east London.
The telecoms company has invested heavily on sports rights
in recent months to help to drive take-up of its pay television
arm, BT Vision. It will screen English Premier League soccer and
Premiership rugby from the 2013/14 season.
BT is taking a 10-year lease on space that housed
broadcasters from around the globe during the Olympics this
year. It will build three TV studios, 20 edit suites and a
control centre. It plans to start work at the building in
February to prepare for the launch of BT Sport in summer 2013.
"The Olympic Park will be an iconic sporting backdrop for BT
Sport," BT Chief Executive Ian Livingston said in a statement.
BT, which began life as the state telecoms monopoly, was a
sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics.
ICITY, a joint venture between real estate investor Delancey
and data centre operator Infinity SDC, has the task of turning
the Olympic broadcast and adjacent press centre into a permanent
hub for technology companies. BT is its first major tenant.
The move will have to be rubber-stamped at a board meeting
next week of the London Legacy Development Corporation, the
public body that is now in charge of the Olympic site.
That meeting could also resolve who will become the main
tenant of the Olympic Stadium, centrepiece of the park. Premier
League soccer club West Ham United are considered by many
observers as favourites to move in after a process mired in