BT Sport Champions League deal considered ‘a mistake’ by Uefa – The Independent
European governing body Uefa consider BT Sport’s exclusive coverage of the Champions League ‘a mistake,’ according to a report.
The channel signed a record £897million, three-year deal with Uefa in November 2013 to show exclusive coverage of Europe’s premier club competition but, according to the Daily Mail, declining viewing figures have Uefa bosses considering a return to terrestrial television.
The report states that while Uefa believes BT Sport are delivering an excellent product on screen, the lack of coverage on terrestrial TV is hurting the competition in the UK.
Manchester City’s first leg quarter-final draw with Paris Saint-Germain attracted a peak audience of only 1.1million viewers, a number around five times smaller than ITV had drawn for similar fixtures in the past.
It is now believed that Uefa could again tender the rights for the competition later this year, with a terrestrial partner getting half of rights and Sky or BT the other half.
As part of the agreement, BT Sport have shown a handful of Champions League and Europa League games on free-to-air TV this season.
The second leg of Real Madrid’s clash will be shown free-to-air this week, one of 12 Champions League games that have been shown.