Mar 232016

Sky will have exclusive Formula 1 rights from 2019 until the deal ends in 2024.

This ends the current share set-up between terrestrial broadcasters and the pay TV giant, where Channel Four current show 10 races live with highlight of all other races.

Sky Sports will be the home of Formula 1 in the UK and Ireland from 2019 to 2024, offering live coverage of every Grand Prix.

Coverage of the British Grand Prix will continue to be available on a free-to-air basis, although Sky hasn’t specified where the free-to-air access will be.

Continue reading »

Dec 032014

The next round of bidding for the next batch of Premier League football TV rights come up for grabs early next year.

City analysts predict that the rights could cost broadcasters as much as 50% more than the £3bn for the current three-year deal (£2.3bn paid by Sky paid for 116 games a season, plus £738m from BT for 38 matches a year), when the telecoms company’s surprise entry into the TV sports rights market pushed up the price substantially.

However, there may be a new player in town.

Continue reading »

Apr 112014

BT and BSkyB have agreed to share the broadcast rights for the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup competitions. These events start in the 2014/15 season and replace the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Cup.

Under the agreement, which covers the first four years of these new competitions, BT and BSkyB will share the matches equally. Pool matches will be split 50:50, both broadcasters will show two quarter finals, one semi-final and the final would be broadcast by both.

This agreement is a pragmatic solution to the wrangle over European Rugby broadcast rights which had followed from the decision to restructure the competitions. Extrapolating the agreement to other sports, particularly Premiership football, is probably a step too far at this time given that European Rugby was something of a special situation.

Nov 092013

There are reports that BT Sports have acquired the UK broadcast rights to UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches in a £1bn 3 year deal.

(which we mentioned way back in September this year : )

This would take the matches away from the current shared holders of Sky Sports and ITV from the 2014/15 season.

BT will show a number of matches free-to-air, including the finals of both  competitions in a deal that will cost the channel £299m per season for three  seasons from 2015-16.

The channel will air all 350  matches live from both competitions. Both the Champions League and Europa League  finals will be shown free-to-air, as well as a selection of matches from  throughout the competition

From the Guardian:

BT Sport is close to finalising a deal with Uefa to broadcast Champions League matches from 2015, according to reports. An anticipated three-year agreement would also lead to the company showing Europa League fixtures.

If BT Sport succeeds in gaining exclusive rights to Champions League games in the UK, it would deal a significant blow to Sky and ITV, the existing rights holders. It would also take the tournament off free-to-air television for the first time, unless BT Sport followed its Premier League lead and made some matches available to non-subscribers.

The Times and Telegraph report that BT Sport, which entered the football market this season by purchasing the rights to Premier League games, is in final negotiations with European football’s governing body and that those look almost certain to conclude successfully.

The Times says the deal would be worth almost £1bn. BT Sport has paid £738m for three years of Premier League rights.

From the Times:

BT has landed its biggest blow yet in the battle for pay-TV and broadband customers after launching a knockout bid, thought to be worth almost £1 billion, for the rights to broadcast live mid-week Champions League games from 2015.

The Times has learnt that the telecoms company has knocked out both BSkyB and ITV, the current holders of the rights, during bidding this week and has entered exclusive talks with Uefa for the rights packages.

From the Telegraph:

BT Sport was last night on the brink of a stunning victory in the battle for Champions League football after blowing BSkyB and ITV out of the water with a near £1 billion bid for the world’s biggest club competition.

The new broadcaster is understood to have begun final negotiations with Uefa for the exclusive UK live rights for both the Champions League and Europa League for three years from 2015, signalling an end to decades of terrestrial coverage of European club football.

But taking out ITV was nothing compared to toppling the might of BSkyB, which is thought to have come close to matching BT’s £900 million-plus offer, more than double what the former two companies paid to share the current contract back in 2011. An announcement is expected any day that will send shockwaves through English football and represent the biggest shake-up in the established order in sports broadcasting in Britain for years.

Sky had ridiculed its rival for branding its capture of Premier League football as a “game changer” and a source described last night’s news as “the “real game changer”. BT chief executive Gavin Patterson recently gave a hint of his intention, saying: “This is a long-term strategy for us and you can expect us to do a lot more in the future.”

It is understood BT Sport has committed to making certain matches available free-to-air across both the Champions League and Europa League, a tactic it has already employed with its Premier League coverage. Being available to every household with a television in the UK had been ITV’s trump card in its relationship with Uefa that has seen it broadcast the Champions League since the competition’s inception in 1992. That had been an extremely attractive prospect for sponsors, which do not enjoy the same reach on Sky Sports and would have even less exposure on BT Sport if all matches remained behind a paywall.


BT Sports is available in Spain, via satellite, with a monthly subscription of around £12 – £15 per month.



Sep 282013

According to a story in the Daily Mail today, it is possible that the Champions League, European football’s flagship club tournament, may not be shown live on terrestrial television in the UK in future.

The tender for the UK broadcast rights for the Champions League, due to be launched next week by UEFA, will detail the way the rights packages are going to be sold over the next three-year cycle from 2015.

However, there is no obligation for UEFA to sell to free-to-air channels in the UK, as the Champions League is not a TV-listed event (unlike the FA Cup Final, Olympics and Wimbledon Tennis Finals)

Sky and BT Sport are almost certain to be the highest bidders. And there is nothing to stop UEFA maximising revenue by sharing the rights packages between the Sky and BT Sport. Reports suggest that could be worth over £1billion to UEFA compared to the £400m that Sky and ITV paid for the present deal that runs until the end of next season.

Concern over this – especially within current rights holders ITV – has been raised by UEFA awarding exclusive coverage in France to subscription network beIN Sport, owned by Qatar-based TV broadcast giants Al Jazeera.

But ITV will hope that live terrestrial coverage is still regarded as crucial by UEFA and that France is a special case because of the Qatari influence. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund own Paris St-Germain and it is reported political pressure was put on France’s UEFA president Michel Platini to vote for a Qatar World Cup.


Jul 262013

The second series of hit French drama The Returned, will air on Channel 4 in 2014.

The Returned – Channel 4

The Returned first series draws to a conclusion on Channel 4 on Sunday July 28.

Season two of the supernatural thriller will begin production in early 2014.

On average, some 1.8 million UK viewers have tuned into the show’s debut series each week, with a 7.1% audience share during its 9pm Sunday slot.

Series two will consist of eight hour-long episodes.