BT Sport has scored a coup in the United Kingdom by winning the UK media rights to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League for £897million. BT has been able to secure the UCL rights away from the current rights holders Sky Sports and ITV. The three-year deal, which begins in 2015, is the first time a UK broadcaster has won the exclusive rights.
BBC chief sports correspondent Dan Roan said, regarding the deal:
“This is a staggering statement of intent from BT, changing the landscape of sports broadcasting and sending shock waves throughout British football.
“Having already secured 38 Premier League games a season, BT has now taken its offering to a whole new level by going all out to land exclusive live rights to the most coveted tournament in club football.”
The contract, priced at £299m a season, is worth more than double the current arrangement, which could mean significantly more money for clubs in the two European competitions.
Under the deal with BT Sport, some of the UEFA Champions League matches, including the final, will be available free of charge to UK residents. Plus BT Sport will be broadcasting all of the Europa League matches in addition to Champions League games.
Here are today’s world soccer news headlines:
UEFA Champions League
- Martin O’Neill blasts Sunderland mess — Sunderland Echo
- Aaron Ramsey: Arsenal’s Welsh Gunner finally finds his feet — BBC Sport
- Arsène Wenger aims for benchmark win now Ferguson spell broken — The Guardian
- Gary Neville on Januzaj – “I genuinely think this guy could be one of the best in the world. I think he’s that talented” — EA
- West Ham’s Olympic Stadium bid: three admit spying on club executives — The Guardian
- Jose Mourinho hits out over Chelsea’s busy Premier League fixture list — Sky Sports
- Nigeria wins fourth u-17 World Cup title — New York Times
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