Grant Best, an award winning sports director, is to join BT Sport as senior channel executive producer, it was announced today. Best is one of the most highly regarded directors of live sport directing and producing more than 1,000 live sports events worldwide winning a Sports EMMY for his work on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Best began his career in sports television production in 1995 with BSkyB. During his time he directed live football coverage of Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, Motor Sports, International Athletics, Award Ceremonies and News.
He has since lived in the USA working with ESPN where he was Lead Director on soccer and Coordinating Director on the networks multi award winning coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In addition, he spearheaded their World Cup 3D coverage and launching ESPN’s first 3D channel.
After his successful time in the USA, Best returned to the UK to direct key live matches across the UEFA Champions League and Premier League football with Sky Sports. These matches included Sky Sports’ most watched live broadcast between Manchester City and Manchester United in the 2011/12 season. Whilst Best has specialised in live football he also directed the first ever Wimbledon Tennis Finals in 3D in 2011 and again in 2012.
Best will begin his new role on November 1 and will report to Simon Green, director of BT Sport.
BT has won the rights to 38 live Barclays Premier League games a season for three years, starting with the 2013/14 season, including 18 of the best ‘first pick’ matches – the first time anyone but Sky has won any of the live Premier League matches. BBC Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey is to be the anchor of the football coverage.
The new channel will also feature 69 live games a season of the Aviva Premiership rugby union for four seasons, starting 2013/14. Also there will be live coverage of the JP Morgan Premiership Rugby Sevens for the same period. BT has also signed a deal with Premiership Rugby for exclusive live broadcast rights to matches played by Aviva Premiership clubs in any future European competitions from 2014.
Simon Green said: “We are delighted to have secured someone of Grant’s quality to help to mould the new sports channel. We know that we have to make this a top quality channel that sports fans feel they can’t afford to ignore. That is why we are bolstering the in-house talents at BT with some of the finest TV talents to work behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Grant’s quality and pedigree cannot be questioned and we are very happy that he’s decided to join us to be involved in this incredible opportunity to build a brilliant new sports channel.”