BT Sport beats Sky to European footie rights – at a cost of £1.2bn

BT Sport has retained the rights to broadcast European football, shutting out rival service Sky.

In a newly cemented deal, BT Sport has been given the go-ahead to exclusively show UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches in their entirety.

The deal is valued at an impressive £1.18 billion, which is £300 million more than it paid for the rights in the 2017 deal. BT’s new deal will cost £394 million per season, right up until the contract ends in the summer of 2021.

Speaking about the deal, 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.”

Petter added: “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.”

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Sky used to be the rights-holder for European football, but BT scooped the deal back in 2013. But BT has had to contend with slumping viewing figures as more people move away from traditional TV-viewing habits. The good news is that UEFA has revealed BT plans to provide more coverage online, particularly through social media.

“UEFA is delighted to have extended the relationship with BT Sport for a further three seasons, taking our partnership to 2021,” said Guy Laurent Epstein, UEFA’s Marketing Director. “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.”

Epstein continued: “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.”

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