BT secures Champions League rights up until 2021

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Coverage: BT Sport has retained the rights for an additional three years
Coverage: BT Sport has retained the rights for an additional three years

Related tags: Uefa champions league

BT Sport has extended its deal with UEFA to show Champions League and Europa League football in pubs from August 2018 up until 2021.

The new agreement, worth a reported £1.2bn, will begin at the start of the 2018-19 season and run for three more seasons after that. It will also bring major changes to match screening by introducing two kick off times, at 6pm and 8pm, which will replace the current 7.45pm kick off.

Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers at BT Sport, said that the changes to kick off times will enable pubs to avoid match clashes which have forced licensees to choose which games to show.

He adds: “It is also a really good chance for pubs to get people in earlier and keep them in longer; it is, therefore, really strong for our sector.”

Price rise speculation

BT Sport’s current deal to show Champions League and Europa League football is worth £897m. This is a substantial hike in cost for BT and has prompted speculation that the broadcaster could raise subscription costs for licensees.

However, Cuthbert would not speculate on upcoming price rises. “It's far too early for us to discuss what our pricing plans and actions are, so at this stage it's something that we can't comment on,” he told The Morning Advertiser​.

Related topics: Sport

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