Olympic Park could house BT Sport hub
THE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park could soon be the new home of BT Sport after the firm agreed in principle to take the role of anchor tenant at iCITY.
A planning application for the 10-year deal would see the company occupying six per cent of the iCITY technological cluster - on the site of the former International Broadcast Centre - and will be submitted tomorrow, Friday.
It is hoped the plans will be given the nod at a meeting of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) on Wednesday.
BT Sport intends to relocate its entire production hub to the Stratford site, re-fitting part of the building to house three television studios, a control centre, 20 edit suites and an audience holding area.
Some programmes will be hosted from the new studios, as well as the iconic BT Tower, with the production hub producing all of the company's live sports coverage.
BT Sport will broadcast 38 live Premier League games each season from August 2013, as well as 69 live rugby union matches.
Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, said: "BT Sport will be a visible and engaged partner for the community and the studio will be a reminder of the incredible sporting feats we witnessed during the Olympics and Paralympics.
"The Olympic Park will be an iconic sporting backdrop for BT Sport.
"We want to create jobs in the area and to explore sporting links with local schools as well as looking at how we can offer our production facilities to other companies."
About 300 new jobs are expected to be created once the business is operational but, from February, there will be jobs created in the construction industry to prepare the building for its new role.
Should the proposals be ratified, BT Sport will begin broadcasting from the site in August next year.
Gavin Poole, CEO of iCITY, said: "We are delighted that BT Sport has chosen to locate at iCITY.
"This is fantastic news for the local community.
"BT Sport's decision demonstrates the momentum behind iCITY and the progress we are making in fulfilling our commitment to deliver jobs, support enterprise and boost economic growth.
"We very much hope that the LLDC approves this at its upcoming meeting."