1. News
March 6, 2017

Score! BT outbids Sky and retains Champions League rights for £1.2bn

BT Sport, owned by Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator BT, has extended its exclusive TV rights for the Champions League and Europa League until 2021.

After a bidding war with arch-rival Sky, the company signed a £1.2bn ($1.47bn) to retain the rights — nearly a third more than last time.

BT Sport will be paying £394m annually for the next four years.

“We are paying more but we’ve got a lot more for it, 35 percent more broadcasting slots for example, and complete exclusivity instead of being shared with ITV,” said John Petter, chief executive of BT’s consumer business.

The new deal gives BT Sport exclusivity across all live games and highlights for the first time — meaning there will be no weekly highlights shown on ITV.

Other changes to the BT package will include so-called double-header nights in the group stage, with matches kicking off at both 6pm and 8pm London time, in an effort to appeal to pubs and clubs.

Shares in BT were up 0.2 percent following the announcement, while Sky was down around the same.

BT Sport has been broadcasting Europe’s elite club competitions since 2015 under the terms of an £897m deal agreed in 2013.

Last year, more than 12m people watched BT Sport’s coverage of the Champions League and Europa League finals.

Sky retains the majority of the rights to the Premier League, the English professional football league.

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