BT Sport has announced they have retained the exclusive rights to show Champions League and Europa League games until the end of the 2020-21 season.
The broadcaster has owned the rights to show games from Europe’s two premier competitions since the start of the 2015/16 season, though there had been fears expressed by UEFA about their inability to attract the same viewers that previous rights holders Sky had.
But despite growing fears over viewing figures, the broadcaster has agreed a three-year deal with UEFA from the 2018-19 season of around £394million per year, a significant increase in their current £299m per season deal.
The new deal gives BT Sport exclusivity across all live games for the first time, highlights and in-match clips of both competitions, while Champions League ‘double-header’ nights will mean it can show back-to-back matches during the group stage, with live matches kicking off at both 6pm and 8pm.
BT will also make clips, weekly highlights, UEFA’s magazine show and both finals free to watch on social media.
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 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.
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“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.”