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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

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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.”

BT pledge to show selection of matches for free

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 Sport will be the new UK home of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football Credit: PA Wire

"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."

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BT 'close to deal for exclusive Champions League rights'

BT Sport are reportedly on the brink of landing exclusive UK rights to Champions League football after outbidding BSkyB and ITV with a near £1 billion bid.

The telecoms company has outbid both BSkyB and ITV, the current holders of the rights, and are set to finalise the deal to show exclusive coverage of both the Champions League and the Europa League for three years from 2015 after talks with Uefa, according to The Times.

The Champions League is regarded as the biggest club competition in world football. Credit: PA Wire

If finalised, the contract would signal the end of Champions League football on free-to-air television for the first time in Britain.

The deal is worth almost double what ITV and Sky signed for the current contract with little competition in 2011.

The move is the latest large scale investment from BT into live football coverage after it paid £738 million to show 38 Premier League games a season for three years.

New ratings battle kicks off as Premier League returns

Robin van Persie and Manchester United will bid to retain the title in David Moyes' first season at Old Trafford. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

A challenge to the old order is expected as the new Premier League season kicks off - but off the pitch, with BT Sport taking on Sky for first day ratings.

The new contender paid £738 million for the rights to show 38 top-flight games a season for the next three years and has landed the first game of the 2013/14 season: the 12:45 kick off between Liverpool and Stoke City.

Sky has responded with a day of free football, with shows that normally go out on Sky Sports 1 being shown instead on Sky2 and Pick TV for free, including the later game between Swansea City and Manchester United.

BT hopes to break Sky's grip on armchair sports fans by enabling its broadband customers to watch the Premier League action for free.

It announced this week it had tripled its number of viewers to three million by signing a deal with Virgin Media.

New BT Sport channels go live at 6pm this evening

BT Sport presenters Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding pictured at a launch event Credit: PA Wire

Telecoms giant BT will launch its new sports channels this evening, aimed at breaking Sky's dominance in sports pay-per-view television.

The company has offered its broadband customers the chance to watch 38 Premier League football matches for free.

BT Sport's launch football match will be Manchester City v Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup Final at 7pm.

Half a million people sign up for BT Sport channels

BT has revealed that more than half a million people have signed up to its new sports channels ahead of its launch next month.

The group added over 95,000 retail broadband customers during the end of June - a 12 per cent rise on a year earlier.

BT Sport presenters Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding pcitured at the channel's launch/ Credit: PA Wire

The telecoms giant, who are aiming to break Sky's grip on sports pay TV, are offering broadband customers the chance to watch Premier League football for free.

The company expects further growth to TV and broadband customers once it launches the channels.

Read: BT Sport offers channels free to broadband customers

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