Pay-TV broadcaster Sky is reportedly planning to take on BT and ITV for the broadcast rights to Champions League football.
The rights cycle for the tournament from 2021 to 2024, along with Europa League, is said to have already attracted significant interest from ITV. The FTA commercial broadcaster is set to mount a bid to bring the tournaments back to terrestrial TV, having lost the rights in 2015 when BT Sport acquired the exclusive UK rights to all European fotball for £900 million.
Now Sky is also set to revive its interest in the tournament due to the continued strong pull of Premier League football, and as live sports rights become more and more essential to traditional pay-TV broadcasters in the face of SVoD rivals.
A shared deal between Sky and ITV, as has happened in the past, is also a possibility. UEFA is known to be unhappy with decreased viewing figures for Champions League football in the UK (as a result of BT TV not being in as many homes as Sky and/or ITV), and could even accept lower bid from the duo in order to see a boosted TV audience.
DAZN, the OTT sports broadcaster, could also be a dark horse in the bidding as it seeks to make its first move into the UK.
The deadline for bids for the rights is today (November 11th).