The Match of the Day presenter was unveiled as the broadcaster’s new face of European football at a press conference in east London on Tuesday after BT Sport paid a staggering £897 million to land the rights in 2013.
But perhaps the biggest surprises, given that Lineker had long since been rumoured to take the role alongside his BBC duties, were the roles given to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
While Ferdinand had been reported to be a lead pundit following his retirement from professional football at the end of the season, Gerrard and Mourinho’s roles as regular pundits were not expected.
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BT Sport's full line-up of Champions League presenters and pundits
Image credit: Eurosport
The BT Sport regulars of Paul Scholes, Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and Owen Hargreaves will be joined by new signings Gerrard, Mourinho, Harry Redknapp, Glenn Hoddle and Howard Webb.
BT Sport beat ITV and Sky to the rights to the Champions League two years ago, with the deal due to run for three seasons.
Access to European football will cost £5 per month for BT broadband customers, although Premier League, Premiership rugby and the Scottish Premier League will remain free.
“When we launched BT Sport we promised to make televised football far more accessible and affordable than it has been to date,” John Petter, the chief executive of BT Consumer, said in a statement.
“We have opened the market to millions of new customers and we want to build on that as BT Sport becomes the undisputed home of European football.
“We are of course giving our best offer to existing customers – broadband customers will get the new BT Sport Pack for the heavily discounted price of £5, whilst customers who take broadband and TV from us will get it absolutely free.
“This is a new chapter for European football on TV. BT Sport will show hundreds of live matches throughout the tournament using the very latest technology. Our presenters and experts will also provide the smartest insight and analysis.”
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