BT Sport signs £900m Champions League TV deal
Sky and ITV have suffered a major blow with the news that BT Sport has clinched exclusive rights to broadcast all 350 Champions League matches each season from 2015.
The £897m deal will end two decades of live Champions League football on terrestrial TV.
BT says it has "shaken up the UK TV market" and will make some games, including finals, free to air. "I am thrilled that BT Sport will be the only place where fans can enjoy all the live action from the Champions League and Europa League," says BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.
Sky is probably less thrilled, saying the deal was "far in excess" of its own valuation for the broadcast rights. The contract, worth close to £300m a season, is more than double the cost of the current deal.
BT says it will show at least one match involving each participating British team for free during each season. Prices for the other games have not yet been announced.
Clearly the telecoms company is determined to use sport to woo more customers over to its broadband, phone and TV services. It has already secured the rights to 38 Premier League games a season and bought ESPN TV channels earlier this year, bringing live FA Cup, Scottish Premier League, German Bundesliga and UEFA Europa League football to the new BT Sport TV service.
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