BT Sport retains most UEFA football rights
July 1, 2022
By Nik Roseveare
BT Sport has secured the rights to the majority of the UEFA Champions League games, plus all the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League exclusively live, for a further three seasons, including highlights and in-match clips. BT Sport will continue to make the finals available for all to watch.
BT Sport will show the new format of the three European competitions from 2024, with 12 more teams plus the introduction of an additional knockout-playoff round.
The expanded qualification system opens up the possibility of a fifth English team in the UCL and guarantees Scottish participation in the Champions League and Europa League.
Marc Allera, Chief Executive of BT’s Consumer Division, said: “BT Sport continues to be the home of the UEFA Club Competitions until 2027 and we are extremely proud to have the privilege of twelve years of broadcasting one of the most exciting competitions in the world. It is fantastic news for our viewers that from 2024 we will be able to show more games than ever before live and exclusive on BT Sport.”
Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with BT until 2027. BT has been a long-standing UEFA club competition partner since 2015, where it has applied industry leading broadcast expertise to European club football. Throughout 2024-27 BT will broadcast more live matches than ever before, which will be supplemented by its exceptional array of original programming.”
The costs of the rights awarded to BT Sport is circa £305 million per annum. BT said it expects to pay a deposit of circa £61 million in July 2022. Following the move of BT Sport into the Joint Venture being created by BT Group plc and Warner Bros Discovery, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2022, the JV would pay the rights costs of c. £305 million per annum less the deposit. The planned JV is subject to customary closing conditions, including CMA approval.
BT Sport will no longer have exclusivity on the Champions League tournament after Prime Video secured a rights package.
Commenting on the deal, Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, said: “While BT Sport loses exclusivity, it provides long term certainty going into the JV with Discovery, providing fans with more games and for less money.”