BT Sports retains Champions League and Europa League UK TV rights
It was announced today that BT Sport will remain the exclusive UK home of all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football.
BT will pay around £394m each year for the rights until the end of the 2020/21 season.
The UEFA Champions League is set to be even stronger from 2018/19, with a minimum of four participating teams now guaranteed from each of England, Spain, Germany and Italy, resulting in more games between the top European teams. Fans will also be able to enjoy UEFA Champions League ‘double header’ nights, as live matches will kick off at both 6pm and 8pm during the Group Stage.
BT Sport have not specified in its announcement if free-to-air coverage will continue on BT Showcase, BT’s Freeview channel.
BT Sport confirmed today (March 6) that it will now be the only place to watch “live games, highlights and in-match clips of both competitions”.
It means there will no longer be any highlights shows on free-to-air broadcaster ITV, and also brings an end to ongoing speculation that Channel 4 could show a live match each gameweek.
John Petter, Consumer CEO at BT, said:
“We are delighted to have renewed these rights. The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are two of the best competitions in the world and we would like to thank UEFA for choosing us as their exclusive broadcast partner in the UK. The UEFA Champions League is due to get even stronger and we are delighted that fans will be able to enjoy two live matches a night for the first time.”
Guy Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said
“UEFA is delighted to have extended the relationship with BT Sport for a further three seasons, taking our partnership to 2021. BT Sport has proved to be an innovative broadcast partner, pushing the boundaries and covering the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in new ways. BT have delivered strong audiences in the UK and we are excited about their future plans for the use of social media which will engage a growing fanbase that consumes sport in different ways.”