BT Sport has confirmed overnight reports that it’s retained exclusive broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa Leagues until 2024 and has also announced that show the new UEFA Europa Conference League when it starts in 2021.
The new deal comes into effect in 2021 and gives the broadcaster an additional 77 games per season than its current UEFA deal. BT says it’ll pay £400m per year for the rights.
BT first started broadcasting the UEFA Champions League in 2015 having beaten incumbents ITV and Sky to the rights and has used the competition to showcase a number of broadcast innovations, including its launch of the UK’s first 4K UHD live channel.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said, “We’re delighted to remain the home of UEFA Champions League in the UK.
“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 – whether that’s broadcasting 12 games simultaneously or delivering industry leading images in 4K UHD.
“With increasingly more ways to watch our content, 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.”
UEFA Marketing Director Guy Laurent Epstein added: “UEFA is delighted to continue its strong partnership with BT until 2024.
“All matches will be available across the BT Sport channels and digital services and in addition UK football fans will be able to enjoy club competition highlights for free on social media each match week, as well as the finals to the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the newly formed UEFA Europa Conference League.
“Its high quality production and programming standards set the bar for the industry and audiences will continue to enjoy the competitions in new ways via BT’s innovative approach as it showcases new technologies.”
With BT holding only a minority share of the Premier League broadcast rights, its UEFA deal was seen by industry watchers as essential to retain subscribers and grow its own TV offerings.
Media and tech analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “These were a must win set of rights for the sports broadcaster.
“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.”