BT has stuck a £1.2bn deal to retain exclusive coverage of the Champions League and Europa League until 2021.
The ISP and sports broadcaster became the contests’ exclusive live home in 2015 when it snatched the rights from Sky and ITV, although ITV retained rights to show highlights.
The majority of games were shown on the BT Sports subscription channels, with selected matches aired free-to-air on a ‘showcase’ channel available to Freeview homes, with some also shown on YouTube.
Viewing figures for the competitions were far below those achieved by Sky and ITV and there had been speculation that UEFA was considering reverting to sharing the rights between a pay and FTA broadcaster to boost audiences.
BT faced competition from Sky but ultimately retained the rights by agreeing to pay £300m more than it does under the current deal.
Under its renewed deal, which comes into effect from the 2018/19 season, BT will have exclusivity over all live games and highlights and has committed to showing clips, weekly highlights, UEFA’s magazine show, and both finals for free on social media.
Changes to the competitions mean a minimum of four participating teams are now guaranteed from each of England, Spain, Germany and Italy and Champions League ‘double header’ nights, with live matches kicking off at both 6pm and 8pm during the Group Stage.
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.
“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.”