BT Sport Win £897m UEFA Champions League Rights Deal in UK: Daily Soccer Report

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.

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UEFA Champions League

Premier League

International soccer


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13 thoughts on “BT Sport Win £897m UEFA Champions League Rights Deal in UK: Daily Soccer Report”

  1. This could get interesting state-side. It is probably a three way bidding war between beIN, Fox, and ESPN. The first will likely push up the price and the latter two will have to duke it out. The only wildcard is how much will ESPN be allowed to spend. It gets even more interesting since a number or sporting rights are set to expire soon.

    1. I wish beIN had never came along. What’s the point of buying rights if you are not going to broadcast them, I loved watching the championship on Fox Soccer Plus, since beIN came along we barely see any live games and to make matters worse they won’t even offer them online.
      ESPN had the rights for years but didn’t really treat it with any respect either.

      1. ESPN has been notorious for doing this with all sports – buy up the rights only in the interest of keeping them away from rival networks. They were sued by a NCAA conference (Big West or Mountain Conference maybe) because they bought the rights to their basketball games but never showed them. They eventually worked out a deal and sub-licensed these games to another network.

        1. I agree totally, beIN only interest was to put Goal TV out of business, it’s not like they are making any money and won’t be making any money as a network for at least a decade. My understanding is they paid the cable and satellite companies millions to put their network up and remove Gol TV.

  2. Well its still a few years away but where is FOX going to get their commentary now haha, they basically take the Sky feed with the exception of the “Gus” games from last season

    I know UEFA has their own feed, which I actually prefer than the biased Sky commentary, but its only one guy without an analyst

    1. They might work out a deal with BT. Didn’t NBC have BT commentary for an early morning Saturday game once? I remember it was supposed to be someone else but ended up being Michael Owen on co-commentary

  3. The ideal scenario for stateside, in which I don’t think it is likely to happen, is for NBC and FOX/DirecTV to split the UEFA rights the next time around. In this case, NBC would have all matches involving the Premier League clubs, FOX/DirecTV would get the remainder and would split accordingly in case the EPL clubs do not make the latter stages.

    1. Yeah, I thought about NBC involvement and I would say this, they would more likely have interest in the FA Cup and The Championship than the UEFA CL mostly because of the scheduling opportunities and the tie-ins to the BPL. It would fill in the holes caused by the international and FA Cup breaks rather fill an odd part of the week for games in the States.

      1. The Championship is right where it belongs right now it will never be on NBCSN. you have got to remember it may be good soccer but it is a second division. there isn’t even second division baseball, basketball or hockey on TV never happen with soccer.

    2. If I remember correctly the US contract runs through the 2015 final which puts the bidding process about this time next year. NBC might get involved if the PL experience is going well. They would want them all though maybe put together a MOTD type program for highlights and show the occasional second game on one of the other Comcast networks. They own almost as many RSNs as Murdoch does so they could use those and of course the extra time channels.

      1. It doesn’t work for NBC. You are talking about games mostly played in the middle of the week played at a time when most Americans are at work. The ratings to cost ratio would likely kill their appetite for it. Has for the quality of the Championship, the cost of said contract to fill in break holes would be worth it and have you watched FCS football or US rugby sevens on NBC. It’s daytime television in the states, even major sports mostly casted to regional sports networks. The other sports programming that dominates that time slot are re-airs and sports talk. Besides, there are other places for the network to spend money on getting rights to with better returns. And it UEFA CL is going to have to take a back to the other rights coming up in domestic sports state-side.

        1. It’s NBC Sports Network and not NBC soccer Channel and they have no intention making it that. It’s not like soccer is the highest rated programming on the network. EPL works for them because it’s played at times where there are no other major sports being played. I doubt if they will bid for any other soccer programming other than perhaps the FA cup as it will cover the same time slot as the EPL.

          1. Agreed, although at the right price a select amount of The Championship games;especially the playoffs, would fit nicely with the BPL coverage so I still see it as possible but with the likely scenario of a partnership with another network.

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