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ITV not prepared to 'pay over the odds' for rights

ITV have said they were not prepared to "pay over the odds" for live Champions League and Europa League television rights.

BT Sport's acquisition ends ITV's 21-year association with the competition regarded as the world's greatest club competition.

ITV have broadcast the Champions League since its launch in 1992. Credit: PA Wire

"ITV is proud to have been the UK free to air broadcaster of the Champions League, since it launched in 1992, and of the Europa League, but we were not prepared to pay over the odds in the latest live rights round," an ITV spokesman said.

"Viewers will be able to continue to watch both competitions free on ITV through to 2015 and we remain the home of live England football."

BT Sport 'mean business' with Champions League deal

Former footballer and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker believes BT Sport "means business" after the company announced a £897 million deal to broadcast live coverage of Champions League and Europa League games.

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Sky: BT paid 'far in excess' of our valuation

Sky have said BT Sport paid "far in excess" of its valuation for live rights to Champions League and Europa League coverage.

BT Sport, who launched two sports channels this year, have agreed a three-year deal worth£897 million for the rights, taking over the coverage currently shared by ITV and Sky.

Sky will no longer broadcast live Champions League football after 2015 following BT Sport's successful bid. Credit: PA Wire

In a statement, Sky said: "We bid with a clear view of what the rights are worth to us. It seems BT chose to pay far in excess of our valuation.

"There are many ways in which we can invest in our service for customers. We take a disciplined approach and there is always a level at which we will choose to focus on something else. If we thought it was worth more, we'd have paid more.

"Nothing changes until 2015 and we look forward to 18 more months of live Champions League on Sky Sports."

Key points of BT's £897m Champions League deal

BT Sport has successfully beaten Sky and ITV to the exclusive live coverage of Champions League football in a move widely seen as a huge statement of intent from the company.

Here are the key points:

  • BT has agreed a three year deal costing £897 million
  • The company will show exclusive coverage of all 350 matches from both the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League
  • They will also broadcast at least one match involving each British team for free every season

Uefa: BT has ability to deliver 'premium sports coverage'

BT Sport has the "ability to deliver premium sports coverage", Uefa have said after they awarded the exclusive live television rights to the company.

BT announced that it had acquired the exclusive live rights to all 350 matches from both the Champions League and the Europa League earlier this morning.

BT will pay around £299 million a season for the rights. Credit: PA Wire

Commenting on the announcement, Uefa marketing director, Guy-Laurent Epstein said: “Uefa is delighted to welcome newcomer BT Sport to the family of Uefa Champions League rights holders.

"Since its launch in the summer, BT Sport has been Uefa's partner for the Uefa Europa League and has demonstrated its ability to deliver premium sports coverage. We look forward to working with BT Sport on both competitions in the 2015-18 rights cycle.”

BT: European football will now be 'far more affordable'

BT Sport have assured fans that European football will now be "far more accessible and affordable" after it confirmed it had secured exclusive television rights of the Uefa Champions League and Europa League.

The chief executive of BT, Gavin Patterson, said he was "thrilled" that BT Sport will be the only place where fans can enjoy all the live action from the tournaments.

BT tweeted this image earlier with further details of the deal and how it would affect coverage. Credit: BT Sport

"Both tournaments are world class and firm favourites with many. The live rights will give a major boost to BT Sport and give people yet another reason to take our terrific service.”

"BT Sport has got off to a strong start with customers enjoying what we have to offer. We have attracted millions of customers by giving sport back to the fans, and we can assure people who want to catch all the action, that European football will be far more accessible and affordable with BT.”

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