Soccer

Rio Ferdinand among BT Sport pundits facing no pay due to coronavirus lay-off

BT Sport have told their star pundits they face not being paid because of the coronavirus crisis.

Ex-Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand, co-commentator Steve McManaman, main commentator Darren Fletcher and the likes of Jermaine Jenas, Robbie Savage and Chris Sutton could all miss out on appearance money.

It comes despite multi-billion company BT not giving refunds on their packages but just offering a one month credit or using subscriptions to make a donation to the NHS while they continue to sell broadband and TV deals.

Football on television has been on hold for nearly three weeks because of the coronavirus with BT Sport unable to show any more games and other big-name pundits – also including Martin Keown, Joe Cole, Glenn Hoddle and Karen Carney – have all been left without shows.

They have all been available to do games but, while the likes of Sky and other broadcasters are still paying their star names, BT Sport are ready to slash their wage costs during the crisis.

They have warned their stars across the board that, because they have not got live sport, they face not being paid for outstanding appearances with many on pro rata contracts.

Normally, the pundits would be paid up at the end of the season even if they could not complete their allotted number of shows – just as long as they were available to go on air for games from the Premier League, European games, WSL and non-league.

The pundits have been available all season before the March 12 shut down but, despite being contracted to honour a set number of appearances, BT have told them because of the coronavirus they will not pay any shortfall which could save millions.

BT Sport is still hoping the season will be completed and has now launched extra programming, including the Early Kick Off show which was broadcast on Saturday with Jake Humphrey hosting and Peter Crouch as one of the guests.

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