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Champions League Football Could Return To Terrestrial Television On ITV

Champions League Football Could Return To Terrestrial Television On ITV

The Champions League could be set for a return to terrestrial television for the first time in six years after ITV submitted bids for the next round of tv rights for the European competition.

BT Sports have had exclusive rights in the UK to show Champions League games since 2015, something that hasn't gone down well with most viewers, but that looks set to change.

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The current deal ends ahead of the 2021/22 season and UEFA have split up the rights into more packages this time round, including the final being available as a stand-alone match, with the deadline for bids on Monday.

According to the Daily Mail, ITV are looking to bring the competition back to terrestrial tele and have bid for 'several' of the packages.

BT paid an incredible £1.18 billion for their current three year deal, that finishes after next season, but viewing has been down on numbers compared to the days when Sky and ITV were showing the tournament.

That drop in viewing figures has reportedly not been well received by UEFA and may well be why the governing body have split the rights into more packages.

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As well as ITV's bid it is thought that Sky Sports have submitted bids to bring Europe's elite club competition back to their platform.

The good old days of Champions League football presented by Des Lynam. Image: ITV
The good old days of Champions League football presented by Des Lynam. Image: ITV

In an interview, via the Times, new Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster hinted at wanting to see the competition return to Sky, saying, "We do have enormous respect for Uefa and their tournaments. The Champions League is without question a premium right in our marketplace.

"It is particularly prevalent now maybe, given what happened last season and the success of the English clubs - in the Europa League as well [with both finals contested by two Premier League clubs].

"It's a fantastic set of rights, I'm not going to pretend otherwise and we adopt a disciplined and rational approach to the value of rights in the marketplace, but something like the Champions League is hard to walk past without taking a look."

Amazon Prime have to rounds of Premier League fixtures coming up live on their platform in December but are not expected to make moves for the Champions League.

The streaming service are likely to concentrate on making sure their coverage of the league is well received, potentially with future consideration of bidding for more Premier League packages, however another streaming service might be interested in the UEFA competition.

The Daily Mail say that DAZN could enter the UK market by making the Champions League their first rights on these shores.

Topics: Football News, BT Sports, Sport on tv, Sky Sports, football on tv, Champions League, ITV, European Football

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

 

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