ITV and Sky ‘set to bid for 2021-24 Champions League rights’ as BT Sport faces challenge to its exclusive rights
- ITV and Sky are set to mount a bid to get Champions League broadcast rights
- BT Sport has exclusive rights until 2021, but they will bid for 2021 until 2024
- UEFA may want more exposure on terrestrial TV for their top club competition
BT Sport’s exclusive rights to air the Champions League may be coming to an end from 2021, as ITV and Sky are set to mount a bid, according to The Times.
In 2017, BT Sport extended their deal to exclusively broadcast Europe’s top club competition until 2021 in a deal worth £1.18billion.
Sky and ITV used to share rights to the Champions League until 2015, and the broadcasters are reportedly about to pose ‘ a serious challenge’ to BT Sport for the 2021-2024 rights.
Sky and ITV are set to mount a bid to wrestle Champions League rights away from BT Sport
BT Sport has held exclusive rights, but UEFA may want more terrestrial TV exposure
BT Sport paid £1.18billion to keep their exclusive rights until the end of the 2021 season
With the lack of Champions League football being shown on terrestrial television, the competition has lacked exposure in the UK, meaning that UEFA may be more open to offers.
UEFA sent the tender for the rights to interested UK broadcasters this week, with the rights split up into different packages, including one to just show the final.
The start time of the early Champions League matches will also be reportedly seeing a change, with kick-off at 5:45pm instead of 5:55pm.
Last time the rights were up for grabs, Sky bid an undisclosed amount which was some way off BT’s successful bid. ITV also had an unsuccessful bid to retain the highlights package they used to air on Wednesday evenings.
The Times also reports the tender document includes rights for the Europa League, and the new third-tier tournament, the Europa Conference League. The winner of next season’s Carabao Cup will be England’s representative in the new competition.