Monday, September 26, 2022
Published 3 Years Ago on Friday, Nov 15 2019 By Inside Telecom Staff
By ROB HARRIS AP Global Soccer Writer
LONDON (AP) — The rights to broadcast Champions League games
in Britain have been retained by BT Sport for another three seasons in a deal
worth more than $1.5 billion, The Associated Press has learned.
The telecommunications company will continue to show every
game live and air highlights in the 2021-2024 rights cycle as the competition’s
only British broadcaster, a person familiar with the three-year deal said
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were
not authorized to discuss the deal ahead of an official announcement.
Britain is UEFA’s most lucrative market for Champions League
rights. The 2018-2021 contract is worth 394 million pounds per year, or just
over $500 million. The new deal is not worth less than 1.2 billion pounds
UEFA has protected the value from Champions League rights in
Britain. That contrasts with the Premier League, which has seen domestic broadcast
revenue drop 8% from this season under the terms of deals held predominantly by
Sky and BT. However, its international revenue has risen.
The UEFA deal means games in European football’s elite
competition in Britain will remain on subscription television, although BT has
made the final available for free.
BT faced opposition from satellite broadcaster Sky, which
was bought last year by American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast. It
was trying to regain rights it held until 2015.
Free-to-air channel ITV was also exploring regaining rights,
having shown some games live until 2015.
English teams have contested the last two Champions League
finals, with Liverpool losing to Real Madrid in 2018 before beating Premier
League rival Tottenham in last season’s showpiece.
The 2023 final will be staged in London at Wembley Stadium.
BT Sport is part of the former state-owned telecoms
monopoly, British Telecom, which became a private business in the 1980s.
The sports broadcasting operation, which began in 2013 after
winning some live rights to Premier League games, is based at the former
broadcast base for the 2012 London Olympics.
UEFA has already struck a deal in the United States for
2021-24. The AP reported last week that CBS and Univision will pay a combined
$140 million, an increase from the $100 million in the current Turner-Univision
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer
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