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Dublin: 11°C Friday 26 February 2021

BT snares British Champions League rights in £900m coup

The deal for the Irish TV rights to show the competition after 2015 has yet to be confirmed.

Detail of BT Sport microphones.
Detail of BT Sport microphones.

BRITISH BROADCASTING COMPANY BT Sport on Saturday announced that it has secured exclusive rights to televise all Champions League and Europa League matches for three seasons from 2015.

The company will pay close to £900 million ($1.4 billion, 1.1 billion euros) for the rights to 350 games, becoming the first United Kingdom broadcaster to win exclusive rights to all matches in both European tournaments.

Currently, rights to show matches in the two competitions are shared by BT’s subscription rivals Sky and terrestrial channel ITV.

“I am thrilled that BT Sport will be the only place where fans can enjoy all the live action from the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League,” said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson.

“Both tournaments are world class and firm favourites with many. The live rights will give a major boost to BT Sport and give people yet another reason to take our terrific service.”

The deal represents a huge coup for BT, which only launched its two sports channels in August.

At present, its football line-up includes 38 live Premier League games, live FA Cup games and live coverage of top-flight matches in Germany, Italy, France and Scotland.

Meanwhile, the deal for the post-2015 Irish Champions League TV rights has yet to be confirmed. RTE, TV3 and Setanta currently have the shared rights to show games from the competition until at least May 2015.

© AFP 2013.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

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