The CEO of Altice has said fibre is the future as the operator acquired exclusive broadcasting rights to UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football.

The announcement was accompanied news of growing revenues and earnings in the first three months of the year.

The France-based company did not reveal how much it had paid for the football rights, which cover the 2018-2021 period, but BT paid £1.2 billion for a similar package in March.

Altice will show 343 matches across free-TV and pay-TV, mobile, internet and OTT and digital terrestrial TV in France.

The deal includes also non-exclusive rights in French in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monaco.

Altice said it would create and broadcast magazines and highlights programmes across its SFR Media business, which includes a range of press, radio and TV outlets.

CEO Michel Combes said: “Acquiring the rights to the UEFA Champions League and to UEFA Europa League is one of the main steps for Altice's global and French strategy to provide the best exclusive content.

“The convergence of our telecom assets with media, content and advertising is core to our long term industrial and commercial project.”

[Read more: Altice cooks up new content with Jamie Oliver partnership]

The rights acquisition came as the operator unveiled its Q1 financial results, which showed revenues rose 3.2 percent year-on-year to €5.9 billion.

In France, sales at SFR grew 0.6 percent to €2.7 billion thanks to the performance of its retail fibre and wholesale divisions.

The operator added 45,000 fibre customers in the quarter, taking its subscriber base to 2.08 million.

Revenues also nudged up 0.2 percent to €573 million at Portugal Telecom (PT) as it added 31,000 fibre customers, taking it to 509,000 in total.

Group EBITDA jumped 9.5 percent to €2.2 billion thanks to the performance of Altice USA, where sales and EBITDA grew 3.8 percent and 26.7 percent respectively when stripped of currency movements.

Earnings dipped 5.1 percent at both Portugal Telecom and SFR.

“We begin 2017 with another quarter of success,” Combes said.

“In particular, we are delivering on our major global commitment to fibre with rapid network deployments progressing very well across the Group.

“Fibre is the future and, for Altice, that future is now.”

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