BT extends rights to Champions League and Europa League until 2021

BT has extended its deal with UEFA, and will retain exclusive live rights to both the Champions League and Europa League until 2021. The broadcaster paid £1.2bn, up from the £897m it paid in 2013.

BT Sport has been the home of both tournaments since 2015, but this deal gives BT exclusivity across live games and highlights, meaning ITV won't be able to air its weekly highlights show.

But non-BT subscribers will still be able to see some games. The broadcaster has said it will air clips, weekly highlights, and the finals from both competitions on social media.

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Last year, BT showed both finals live on YouTube, attracting over 12 million viewers. It will continue to broadcast games in 4K with Dolby Atmos sound technology.

From 2018-19, the Champions League will change slightly. Europe's top four domestic leagues - England, Spain, Germany and Italy - will be guaranteed a minimum of four teams participating. This is designed to ensure that Europe's top teams meet more frequently in the tournament.

It will also introduce 'double-header' nights, with matches starting at 6pm and 8pm UK time.

"We are delighted to have renewed these rights," said John Petter, consumer CEO at BT. "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."

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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.