LONDON/NYON: BT has beaten arch-rival Sky to win the right to broadcast Champions League matches for another three years in a £1.2bn deal.
Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator said it had agreed to pay £394m a season for the exclusive rights from 2018-19 to show matches featuring the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City.
It will also take over the right to highlights packages.
This next three-year segment of the Champions League will see same-night kickoffs staggered so as to double the TV rights potential.
The former state-owned telecoms group will pay nearly a third more than it has been paying to screen the competition since 2015.
BT first won the rights to show the Champions League in 2013, beating Sky with a £299m-a-year deal which signalled its willingness to go head-to-head with its rival in the sports broadcasting market.
It has bundled coverage in with its broadband packages, starting with some English Premier league games in 2013, to help protect its leadership in the market.
Sky, which built its business by showing the domestic Premier League tournament, has said it is now more than a sports broadcaster, as it also owns the rights to show some of the most popular US drama and films.
In 2015 it agreed to pay £4.2bn to retain the biggest number of Premier League matches in a three-year deal, almost double the amount it paid for its previous package.
BT said it was in a strong position to monetise the European matches through subscription, wholesale, commercial, and advertising revenues.