BT Sport retains exclusive UEFA Champions League rights

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Rights winner: BT Sport has won the exclusive UK rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the new UEFA Europa Conference League, for three seasons from 2021
Rights winner: BT Sport has won the exclusive UK rights to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the new UEFA Europa Conference League, for three seasons from 2021

Related tags: Sport

Broadcaster BT Sport has retained the exclusive UK rights to European club football competitions until 2024, it has been confirmed.

As reported by Telegraph Sport​, BT met UEFA’s asking price for the package and will pay in the region of £1.2bn for exclusive broadcast rights – matching the figure it paid for its 2018-21 rights.

The deal sees BT secure the right to broadcast 420 games across the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the new UEFA Europa Conference League, for three seasons from 2021.

The agreement represents an increase of 77 games compared to the current agreement and will see BT continue to provide highlights and in-match clips.

As revealed by sport pub finding app Matchpint, the 2018/19 Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham – which saw Jurgen Klopp’s side win Europe’s premier club competition for a sixth time – had more demand from pubs​ than any game during the Three Lions’ Russia 2018 World Cup campaign and England’s recent run to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

World class coverage

“We’re delighted to remain the home of UEFA Champions League in the UK,” Bruce Cuthbert, director for commercial premises at BT Sport, said.  

“BT Sport leads the way when it comes to UEFA Champions League coverage, and we’re very excited to continue to bring our world class coverage to one of the most exciting football competitions in the world.

“With more games on show than ever before, and alongside our excellent line up of other competitions and sports, BT Sport is going from strength to strength.”

Must win set of rights

It’s understood that BT, which holds exclusive rights to 52 Premier League fixtures this season, saw off competition from Sky, ITV and rumoured interest from global streaming service DAZN in securing its latest Champions League rights deal.

"These were a must win set of rights for the sports broadcaster," tech and media industry analyst Paolo Pescatore explains. "More importantly it shows BT’s commitment to showing live sport to enhance its own convergent offerings. BT Sport remains a key part of BT’s strategy for the next few years.

"BT must be applauded for the superb coverage of the European competitions over recent seasons. Beyond the rights, BT Sport has been a technical partner for UEFA in driving innovations in sports production. Overall, there was no real competition."

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, the broadcaster – which was appointed to market the Amazon Premier League Pass in July​​ – recently revealed that pubs with a rateable value between £8,000 and £15,000 will pay £315 to access the internet giant’s 20 exclusively live Premier League matches across December, with BT Sport customers eligible for a 20% discount.

What’s more, BT recently joined forces with Bury St Edmonds-based pub operator and brewer Greene King to transform a city of London pub​ in celebration of women’s football – with 750 Greene King pubs signing the broadcaster’s pledge to show women’s football.  

Related topics: Sport

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