BT share price steady as group retains Champions League rights

BT has held on to the exclusive rights to Champions League football for another three years after seeing off Sky with a blockbuster £1.18bn bid.

The Champions League and Europa League return this week with Arsenal taking on Bayern Munich and United facing FC Rostov on BT Sport. The company, which took the rights from sports-TV powerhouse Sky Plc in 2013, was previously paying 299 million pounds.

BT have renewed and improved the exclusive agreement with UEFA to show all Champions League and Europa League football matches in the United Kingdom for the next three years.

In 2015 it agreed to pay 4.2 billion pounds to retain the biggest number of Premier League matches in a three-year deal, nearly double the amount it paid for its previous package.

Plans to show clips and weekly highlights on social media may partly answer the pressure from Union of European Football Associations sponsors to increase the Champions League's visibility.

"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 parter in the UK". Past year that included YouTube.

'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'.

"We're clearly very pleased to have secured these rights for the next three years", John Petter, the chief executive officer of BT's consumer business, said on a call with journalists.

BT have shown certain matches free-to-air on their BT Showcase channel, which is available on Freeview, and highlights are put out on their Twitter feed and website.

  • Julie Sanders