- BT Sport have secured exclusive rights to screen the Champions League and the Europa League until 2021 – extending their current deal by three years
- They have paid £394million per season to renew their contract
- BT will screen every game, including the new ‘double header’ kick-off times
- But new deal means the end of highlights shows on terrestrial channel ITV
The new three-year contract runs from the start of the 2018-19 season and is worth around £394million per year.
Some had hoped that BT, whose viewing figures for Champions League games have often been low, would decide to sub-licence coverage of some matches to a terrestrial channel such as ITV.
But since the new deal also includes highlights packages, there will not even be a highlights programme on ITV from 2018, let alone live matches.
BT Sport has retained exclusive broadcast rights to the Champions League until 2021
Presenter Gary Lineker with pundits Rio Ferdinand, Steve McManaman and Owen Hargreaves on BT Sport’s coverage of last season’s Champions League final in Milan
The renewal – first reported by Sportsmail’s Charles Sale last Tuesday – locks out arch-rival Sky from showing European football’s two elite club competitions and confirms that Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator is here to stay in the football rights market.
Sportsmail understands Sky bid an undisclosed amount for the rights that was some way off BT’s successful bid. It is also understood that ITV bid to retain the highlights package they screen on Wednesday evenings.
BT have shown certain matches free-to-air on their BT Showcase channel, which is available on Freeview, and highlights are put out on their Twitter feed and website.
BT first won the rights to screen the Champions League in 2013, beating then-rights holder Sky with a deal worth £299m a year.
The new deal means the end of ITV’s Champions League highlights, usually with Roy Keane
BT Sport will continue to screen every Champions League match from the group stage on
The deal will mean BT Sport screen the new double-header nights in the Champions League, with 6pm and 8pm kick-off times during the group stages.
BT also intend to continue broadcasting every match through the competition, with some matches available in 4K ultra high definition.
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 BT Sport punditry team watch the 2016 Champions League final at the San Siro
‘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.’
Who shows what?
UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Super Cup
Scottish League Cup
Italian Serie A
French Ligue 1
Portuguese Primeira Liga
England Under 21 international
UEFA Youth League
Women’s Super League
Scottish FA Cup
Northern Irish Premiership
Spanish La Liga
Major League Soccer
Chinese Super League
World Cup qualifiers for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and other nations except England
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