BT Sport secure exclusive Champions League football rights

BT Sport has extended its UK broadcasting rights deal for the Champions League and Europa League, though this time the deal will not include a highlights show on free-to-air ITV.

The £394 million-per-year deal with UEFA will last until the end of the 2020/21 season, with BT Sport granted exclusivity across all live games across both competitions.

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.”

The broadcaster will once again make the finals of the Champions League & Europa League available for free via social media – presumably on YouTube – but the rise of Facebook Live makes the social network just as likely to be BT’s platform of choice.

BT Sport’s current social coverage features short-form highlights, distributed via the broadcaster’s official accounts and amplified by talent.

Despite the promise of wider access on social, news that full coverage of Europe’s elite competitions will be limited to paying subscribers has resulted in a mixed response.

UEFA has previously expressed concerns regarding poor viewing figures and a subsequent lack of exposure from the existing deal, yet when push came to shove – a gentle £1.18 billion shove – the governing body was all ears.

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Toby Marriott
Toby Marriott 91 posts

Toby is an Account Executive at Snack Media and Editor of Digital Sport. Follow him on Twitter @TobyMarriott

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