2017 Sport Raises the Bar
The great news for bar managers is that no matter what the world throws at us next year, you can expect more of the same hi-octane sporting excitement in 2017.
By common consent 2016 was the worst year in living memory. Political upheavals, countries torn apart and the deaths of Bowie, Ali, Wogan, Cruyff and co all contributed to the sense of a right annus horribilis, to quote her Majesty.
All unless you were a sports fan. As usual, sport made everything ok. Leicester City’s title-winning glory was certainly the greatest story the Premier League ever told and there were dramatic conclusions to the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League finals. And that’s before you factor in the Olympics, Euro 2016 and all the other compelling sporting action that had viewers glued to the screen.
The great news for bar managers is that no matter what the world throws at us next year, you can expect more of the same hi-octane sporting excitement in 2017. Showing sport in your bar, pub or club brings in the crowds. So at a time of year when other bars are slowing down, or anticipating a New Year hangover, some planning now will ensure that your venue is the place to be for all of 2017’s unmissable sporting events.
Before the Premier League resumes in January, the ‘greatest cup competition in the world’ welcomes the big boys of the Premier League and the Championship to the fray. That’s right, it’s the FA Cup 3rd Round. Holders Manchester United will begin their defence with a tricky tie at home to Reading on Saturday lunchtime (7 Jan). Later that day, Preston North End welcome Arsenal, while on Sunday (8 Jan), Liverpool play host to Plymouth Argyle. Rounding off the weekend’s action, on Monday night (9 Jan), Cambridge United go head-to-head with Leeds United, in what should be a classic blood and thunder FA Cup tie. All these games are exclusively live on BT Sport.
With a whole host of matches shown in January it’s worth checking out our comprehensive fixtures list in the Manager’s Office. You’ll also be able to let customers know what games you’re showing via our free Promo Kit.
European Football is back in February
February sees the welcome return of midweek European action. And what a line-up of fixtures there is for the Champions League last 16 and the Europa League last 32. Arsenal’s reward – if you can call it that – for topping their group is a tricky assignment against German champions Bayern Munich. Manchester City will be happier with their French opponents, Monaco (although they did knock out Tottenham Hotspur in the group stages), while Leicester City’s European fairytale continues with a two-legged affair against Sevilla.
Other noteworthy ties include Barcelona v Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid v Napoli and Benfica v Borussia Dortmund (many people’s dark horses for the competition).
In the Europa League, domestic interest lies with Manchester United and Spurs. United’s Paul Pogba will make it a family affair when he takes on his brother Florentin of Saint Etienne. Spurs, meanwhile, square up to Belgian side KAA Gent.
The European ties will be played on the weeks of February 14-16 and 21-23 and March 7-8 and 14-15. With European football taking place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you can plan your bar’s activities with real confidence. With BT Sport you can be a home of European club football, so make your voice heard on all those social media channels – in particular Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our partner Social Connect service can assist you in getting the most out of social media.
It’s not just football that gets the punters in to sample the unique atmosphere a pub offers though. BT Sport is the home to rugby union’s Aviva Premiership. This season has seen reigning champions Saracens duking it out with Wasps, Bath and Leicester Tigers at the top of the table. And with plenty of live action on BT Sport over the festive period and into the New Year, there’s sure to be plenty of twists and turns ahead.
January will see the concluding games in the group stage of rugby’s elite European club competition, the European Rugby Champions Cup. BT Sport will be screening a number of matches. Keep abreast of fixtures here.
Other sporting coverage worth bearing in mind is MotoGP and the increasingly popular UFC. Looking ahead to next winter, BT Sport will exclusively screen the England cricket team’s attempt to retain the iconic Ashes.
There’s much to look forward to then. Make a song and dance about your sporting plans. Your regulars – and your soon-to-be regulars – will thank you for it.
Saturday 31 December: Liverpool v Manchester City (5.30pm)
Saturday 14 January: Leicester City v Chelsea (5.30pm)
Saturday 21 January: Liverpool v Swansea City (12.30pm)
Saturday 21 January: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm)
Tuesday 31 January: Liverpool v Chelsea (8pm)
Wednesday 1 February: West Ham United v Manchester City (7.45pm)
Saturday 4 February: Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough (5.30pm)
Saturday 11 February: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm)
Wednesday 15 February: Bayern Munich v Arsenal (7.45pm)
Thursday 16 February: KAA Gent v Tottenham Hotspur (6pm)
Thursday 16 February: Manchester United v Saint-Etienne (8.05pm)
Tuesday 21 February: Manchester City v Monaco (7.45pm)
Wednesday 22 February: Saint-Etienne v Manchester United (5pm)
Wednesday 22 February: Sevilla v Leicester City (7.45pm)
Thursday 23 February: Tottenham Hotspur v KAA Gent (8.05pm)
Saturday 25 February: Watford v West Ham United (5.30pm)
Tuesday 7 March: Arsenal v Bayern Munich (7.45pm)
Tuesday 14 March: Leicester City v Sevilla (7.45pm)
Wednesday 15 March: Monaco v Manchester City (7.45pm)