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BT Sport Spend £394m Per Year for UEFA Champions and Europa League Footy

Monday, Mar 6th, 2017 (8:25 am) - Score 1,581

As expected BT has continued to spend big on football content for their BTSport TV service and in keeping with that they’ve signed a deal (worth “around” £394m per year until 2020/21) that will see them remain the exclusive UK home of all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football.

BT already holds the exclusive UK TV rights to the tournaments after it grabbed them from Sky in 2013 by spending £900 million on a three season deal that spanned from 2015/16 to 2017/18. By comparison the new deal for the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons appears to have cost the telecoms giant nearly £1.2bn.

Suffice to say that the latest announcement will no doubt add further fuel to the fire of those, such as Virgin Media, who frequently complain that the rapidly rising cost of premium TV football content is causing “significant consumer harm.” Likewise those who feel as if BT is spending too much on TV sport and not enough on upgrading the national broadband infrastructure will have another reason to complain.

However BT sees all of this as necessary in order to compete in the aggressive market for quad-play TV bundles and to weaken Sky’s dominance over premium sport TV content, not to mention that they’ve now got a much bigger customer base to monetise thanks to last year’s merger with EE. Meanwhile consumers will perhaps wish that such competition would result in lower and not higher prices for their favourite sporting TV content.

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. 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.”

Guy Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director, said:

“UEFA is delighted to have extended the relationship with BT Sport for a further three seasons, taking our partnership to 2021. 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. 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.”

New BT Broadband customers typically get 3 months of BTSport Pack TV content for free when they subscribe (£5 per month thereafter), which rises to £7.50 per month if you want to watch the same content on the Sky TV platform rather than just BT’s own app. Meanwhile BT TV subscribers can get the same content for just £3.50 per month (note: it’s currently free until 31st July).

BT said they will also continue to show UEFA matches using the latest broadcast innovation and technology, with games being made available in 4K ultra high definition and Dolby Atmos sound. BT are also looking to boost their social media coverage to “reach new audiences, by making clips, weekly highlights, UEFA’s magazine show, and both finals available for free on social media“.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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