BT Sport extends Champions League deal

06 Mar 2017

By: Sport Industry Group

BT Sport has extended its rights deal for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League until 2021 in a deal reportedly worth £1.2bn.

The service has been broadcasting the elite club competitions since 2015 under the current £897m deal.

BT Sport has also revealed that clips, weekly highlights, and both finals will be made available to watch for free on social media.

BT Sport’s live YouTube stream of last season’s UEFA Champions League Final was also shortlisted for 2017’s Cutting Edge Sport Award.

The new deal gives BT Sport exclusivity across all live games and highlights for the first time - meaning there will be no weekly highlights shown on free-to-air broadcaster ITV.

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, added: “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.”

From 2018/19, Europe's top four domestic leagues are to be guaranteed four places each in the group stages of the Champions League. Under the present system, England, Germany and Spain have three places each - with their fourth-placed teams required to qualify via a play-off.

Other changes to the competition will see 'double-header' nights in the group stage, with matches kicking off at both 18:00 and 20:00 UK time.

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