Champions League poised to RETURN to ITV with BT Sport facing fresh competition for UK rights from 2021
- Champions League coverage could return to terrestrial TV with ITV interested
- From 2021, UEFA have split television rights into multiple different packages
- BT Sport have held exclusive rights to the tournament in the UK since 2015
- They paid £1.18billion for a three-year deal that expires at the end of next season
The Champions League could return to terrestrial television from 2021 following a six-year absence, with ITV having submitted bids for several packages ahead of Monday’s deadline.
UEFA have split the rights into more packages for the competition between 2021 and 2024, including selling the final as a stand-alone event for the first time, which industry experts say is an indication that they are hoping to attract several broadcast partners.
BT Sport have had exclusive Champions League rights in the UK since 2015 and paid a record £1.18billion for the three-year cycle that expires at the end of next season, but they face more competition this time.
Bids have been made from ITV and Sky Sports for Champions League TV rights from 2021
Liverpool’s success last season was available exclusively on BT Sport as part of their contract
Sky Sports are also understood to have bid, while the traditional broadcasters face another threat from streaming services.
Amazon Prime are not thought to be bidding as they focus on making a success of the live Premier League rights they have obtained this season, but the DAZN Group are interested in securing their first UK rights.
ITV are not in the market for exclusive rights. UEFA’s deadline for bids is 10.30am on Monday and an announcement could be made later that day.
But Europe’s top sides could well be back on terrestrial TV in the UK if ITV win some rights