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Amazon and BBC break BT stranglehold on Champions League football

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theguardian.com

Amazon has broken BT’s stranglehold on live Champions League football in the UK, and highlights are set to air on the BBC for the first time in a new deal starting in 2024.BT has retained the lion’s share of the Champions League rights, securing UK rights for 187 of the 204 games in the new expanded format from 2024, while also cutting the price of the next three-year deal by 23% to £917m.BT, which has aired Champion’s League football exclusively in the UK since 2015 after beating the then joint holders Sky and ITV with a blockbuster £900m bid, paid £1.2bn at the last auction in 2019.Amazon, which in 2018 broke BT and Sky’s duopoly control over Premier League football rights, has struck again, securing 17 first pick Champions League matches on Tuesday nights in the US retailer and streaming giant’s biggest sports rights deal in the UK.“The addition of Uefa Champion’s League football is a truly momentous moment for Prime Video in the UK,” said Alex Green, the managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe, who has struck similar deals in Italy and Germany.From 2024 the BBC will become the home of highlights with a new Wednesday night Match of the Day.

Champions League coverage has not been on terrestrial TV since 2014.“Our reach and ability to bring people together is unrivalled and we couldn’t be more delighted that Uefa have recognised the value in our ability to bring the Uefa Champions League to the widest possible audience across the UK,” said Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sport.Under the deal, BT will continue to have exclusive UK broadcast rights to the Europa League and Europa Conference League, meaning a total of 533 games including Champions League matches – a 27% increase reflecting the expansion of the

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