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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The BBC and BT Sport have won the rights to broadcast FA Cup matches from the start of the 2014-15 season through to 2018.
ITV, who held the cup rights since 2008, will continue to show all of England's home and away matches in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.