Coverage extended until 2021
BT Sport’s record £1.2bn Champions League deal
Winning the rights battle sees BT Sport extend its coverage of Europe’s premier club competition until 2021.
It has also secured the highlights package which will mean the competition will no longer be available on terrestrial television, ITV losing its current late-night slot.
The record payment for the exclusive rights is a significant hike on what BT Sport paid in 2013, when it splashed out £897m to secure European football coverage from 2015 to 2018.
BT Sport, owned by Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator BT, is a paid subscription service but will make video clips, weekly highlights and both the Champions League and Europa League finals free on social media.
It won the right to broadcast both continental competitions at auction and will pay UEFA £394m per year for the right to show the two tournaments. This is around a 30% increase on what is currently paid for live coverage and in-game video clips.
John Petter, Consumer CEO at BT, said: “The Champions League and 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.”
As part of a Champions League revamp from season 2018-19, four teams each from England, Italy, Spain and Germany will now automatically qualify for the group stages.
Matches will be moved from the normal kick-off time of 7.45pm to either 6pm or 8pm. Double-header nights will also be introduced in a similar fashion to the current Europa League format.
Mr Potter added: “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.”