Amazon acquires Champions League UK TV rights
James R | On 02, Jul 2022
Amazon Prime Video has continued its significant sporting play with a major deal to acquire UK TV rights to Champions League football.
The online giant has snapped up 17 of the 204 Champions League matches, a small but decisive figure, as it ends the monopoly that BT has had on the Uefa tournament since 2015. BT Sport beat out Sky and ITV to become the exclusive broadcaster of the Champions League – a position it has continued to hold thanks to a £1.2 billion deal in 2019.
Now, though, BT is no longer the sole home of the Champions League, with the new, expanded format of the tournament allowing both Amazon and the BBC to get a seat at the table. The new format and rights agreements will take effect from 2024, at which point BT will hold the rights to 187 of the 204 matches – although Amazon’s deal gives it first-pick rights to Tuesday night matches, which means that its selection will likely be the more attractive fixtures featuring English teams. The BBC, meanwhile, will be making a counterplay to paid subscription services with a deal to show highlights in a new Wednesday night edition of Match of the Day – the first time Champions League football has been on terrestrial TV since 2015.
BT, meanwhile, will retain the exclusive UK rights to the Europa League and Europa Conference League, totalling 533 games, including its Champions League share. With the tournament’s expanded format – and expanded roster of clubs – BT will still be broadcasting more matches than before.
The move comes after BT has inked a deal with Warner Bros Discovery to create a joint venture combining BT Sport and Eurosport.