The two groups have agreed to share the rights to the top 23 fixtures of the competition, comprising 12 group stage matches, including the opening matches of the French team, along with five last-16 matches, three quarter finals, the set finals and the final.
Next year’s competition will take place in 12 European cities: Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg. The draw on November 30 will be aired on the TMC and W9 channels.
The deal comes as speculation mounts about UEFA’s future plans, including the possible launch of an OTT TV platform.
UK financial daily the FT reported over the weekend that UEFA is planning to show Champions League matches via its own OTT service in some territories when the next rights cycle commences in 2021, with UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis telling the paper: “For now, we have lots of [broadcast] partners and are looking forward to continuing our partnerships. We just want to have alternative options.”
The football body launched a streaming service UEFA.tv in June, offering live women’s youth and futsal content.
While BT recently renewed the rights to the Champions League and Europa League competitions in a £1.2 billion deal, TV operators, under pressure of competition from US streaming giants, have been less inclined than previously to spend huge sums on premium football rights.
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