Young football viewers have said they are reluctant over BT Sport's deal with Uefa to air both the Champions League and the Europa League for three years from 2015, adding that it would not "inspire" children to play.
The chief executive of BT has told ITV News that BT Sport will still be "very accessible" to viewers after it secured the rights of both the Champions League and the Europa League for three years from 2015.
Gavin Patterson added that it would be a "very modest amount" to access games throughout the season.
Daniel Geey, a sports layer at Field Fisher Waterhouse has told ITV News that securing exclusive television rights of both the Champions League and the Europa League is "significant" for BT Sport.
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 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."
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.
Seems @btsport mean business. Securing the rights to the Champions League shows real ambition and an understanding of the power of football.
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.
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."
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
- The deal, costing £299 million per season, starts in 2015
- It is the first time a UK broadcaster has won the exclusive rights
- The company have pledged to show a selection of matches for free including the final
- They will also broadcast at least one match involving each British team for free every season
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.
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 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.
"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.”
BT has confirmed that it will show a selection of Champions League and Europa League games including the final for free, even to homes that have not signed up to the channels.
The telecoms company confirmed that they will pay around £299 million a season for the exclusive live rights to all 350 matches from both the Champions League and the Europa League.
"BT has shaken up the UK TV market with BT Sport and it today pledged to make its new matches far more accessible and affordable for fans who wish to enjoy all the action,"the company said in a statement.
"It also announced it will show a selection of these new matches for free on BT Sport, even to homes that have not signed up to the channels."
"The finals of each tournament will be showcased in this fashion along with a selection of top matches from earlier rounds. Fans will also be delighted to know that each participating British team will feature for free at least once each season."