BT pays €1.2 billion to renew European football rights

BT

BT has stumped up another €1.2 billion to secure exclusive rights for European football until the end of the 2020/21 season.

The new deal covers the three seasons from 2018/19, with BT paying €1.2 million than it did in 2013 when it entered the market for the first time.

The UK-based operator will show all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football matches on its BT Sport channels, plus in-match clips of both competitions, weekly highlights, UEFA’s magazine show, and both finals available for free on social media.

Noting that EE had been acquired since the last rights were purchased, BT said it was “in a strong position” to monetise its investment through “subscription, wholesale, commercial, and advertising revenues”.

BT’s Consumer division saw revenues grow four percent to €1.3 billion in the three months to December.

John Petter, Consumer CEO at BT, said: “We are delighted to have renewed these rights.

“The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are two of the best competitions in the world and we would like to thank UEFA for choosing us as their exclusive broadcast partner in the UK.

“The UEFA Champions League is due to get even stronger and we are delighted that fans will be able to enjoy two live matches a night for the first time.”

The news is another blow to BT rival Sky.

CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “This was a must win rights auction for BT and it means that it is here to compete with Sky for the long haul.

“Last time round, BT was a challenger but now it has grown to be a strong player in sports TV rights.”

However, the analyst said there were “ongoing concerns” about whether the increased cost of the rights would be passed onto consumers.

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