BT to take Champions League final to YouTube for fifth season in a row

BT Sport will broadcast the Champions League and Europa League finals for free on YouTube.

It will be the fifth consecutive season that the UK pay TV broadcaster will air the finals on the Google-owned YouTube, with BT’s contract with UEFA obliging it to make the final free to air by whatever means it likes.

The finals of each contest are set to be played at the end of August in Lisbon for the Champions League and Cologne for the Europa League. Each will be played at the end of a truncated World Cup-style tournament with a handful of teams in a locked-down location.

Last year’s all-English Champions League final, also on YouTube, saw a total of 4.8 million viewers tune in.

In comments made to SportsPro Media, YouTube’s EMEA head of sport Tomos Grace said:  “BT Sport have been amazing partners for YouTube and we’re very privileged to be working with them. They are very innovative in the way they use technology and video, and they are ambitious in what they want to experiment with.”

BT successfully extended its rights deal with UEFA in November 2019 in a three-year deal worth £400 million per-season. The broadcaster saw off a serious challenge from Sky, which held the rights until 2015.

Earlier this year, BT was reportedly in talks with ITV over sublicensing a number of matches for FTA broadcast. It remains to be seen whether the broadcaster will be in a position to afford it given the current economic hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.