Mar 062017

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.
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Mar 222016

It hailed its surprise capture of the Champions League as “the real game-changer” but as BT Sport prepares to broadcast the last 16 of the competition,Inside Sport can expose the shocking viewing figures from the first season of its £897 million deal.

UK television ratings for the Champions League have, with the play-off round and group stages attracting a fraction of the audience – including those games made available free-to-air. While a significant drop-off was inevitable, the scale of it has provoked a Uefa rethink about how the competition rights will be sold at the next auction this year.

A key element of BT’s triumphant bid for the Champions League and Europa League 2½ years ago was its pledge to show some matches – at least 12 in the former competition – free-to-air to reach the widest possible audience. But its BT Showcase channel has proven a complete flop, attracting an average peak audience of less than 200,000 for its Champions League coverage, compared to the average peak of 4.4 million who watched the play‑off round and group stages on ITV last year.

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May 292015

BT Sport is set to announce coverage details for Champions League and Europa League in the next few days.

BT Sports is paying £897m to show the Champions League for the next three seasons, taking the live coverage away from previous broadcasters ITV and Sky Sports.

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May 082015

BT Sport will have a free-to-air version of BT Sport from the next football season, it has been confirmed.

When BT Sports announced they had secured the live broadcast rights for the UK for Champions League and Europa League, they announced that they would be making some matches available free to air.

There had been speculation as to whether BT would licence matches to third-party broadcasters, like ITV, who currently show the free-to-air matches, with Sky broadcasting the rest to Sky Sports subscribers.

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Nov 222013

Highlights of Champions League and Europa League matches will be shown on ITV until 2018 after agreeing a new deal with UEFA.

The deal guarantees coverage of the two competitions on free-to-air television for three years starting from the 2015/2016 season.

Each week during the competitions, ITV will show comprehensive highlights programmes covering all of the week’s Champions League games on Wednesday nights and on Thursday nights for the Europa League.

ITV will also show highlights of both finals and the UEFA Super Cup, as part of the deal.

BT Sport recently paid close to £1bn for live rights for three years for the Champions League

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.


Sep 182013

Al Jazeera Sports removes its channels from Hotbird 13 East

The Al Jazeera Sports satellite TV platform has removed without notice the JSC channels +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 from the Eutelsat HotBird (13 ° East) satellite.

The Al Jazeera Sports channels were transmitted from frequency 11.296-H MHz (DVB- S, MPEG-S, SR 27500, FEC 3/4).

The Al Jazeera Sports channels on the same frequency continue – JSC +1 +2 +3 +4.

Subscribers who want to continue receiving the channels that have been removed from Eutelsat HotBird 13e will have to realign your satellite dish to either Nilesat (7 ° West) or Badr (26 degrees East).

Al Jazeera Sports have the live broadcasting rights to may football league and competitions, including the FA Premier League, Champions League, La Liga and FA Cup

Jul 272013

The forthcoming battle for Champions League TV rights in the UK is expected to result in a £1billion bonanza for UEFA.

The current three-year contract with Sky and ITV is worth £400m but the entry of BT Sport into the market is forecast to lead to the price more than doubling.

BT are, according to reports, prepared to splash out on the Champions League, as they have done for Premier League and FA Cup content.

And with Sky and ITV both determined to pay whatever it takes to retain coverage of the prestige competition, UEFA can expect a windfall.

Sky claim that losing out to BT for the FA Cup means more money is available for the Champions League, for which they remain favourites with ITV to keep the contract.