BT Sport Announces Champions League Details
So we knew a while that Champions League coverage in the UK was shifting from Sky after a mammoth bid from BT. But none of us knew the details… until now. BT has finally revealed just what its plans are for the greatest club competition in the world.
Now it’s no punt to say that Sky’s Champions League coverage has been an overwhelming success. But after spending the sum of £897 million on the rights to the Champions League, you would expect BT Sport to put on a hell of a show. This will be their flagship after all!
First things first – they’ve bagged Gary Lineker as head pundit and presenter and he’ll be joined by BT regular Jake Humphrey, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Hoddle and newly announced Liverpool legend Stevie ‘G’ Gerrard!
To add to its regular line-up of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN, a new channel called BT SportEurope will be showing the majority of the coverage and that’s set to launch on the 1st August.
Here’s the important bit – BT are still offering the content for free to BT TV customers – although there’s not many of you. The one that will affect the majority is the BT Broadband Joes who wants to watch the channels through Sky: this will cost an extra £5. BT hasn’t said anything about Virgin Media yet but if you don’t have any BT connections, we reckon you can expect to pay around the £15 figure.
BT Sport will broadcast all 351 Champions League and Europa League matches next season and will even make some of those available for everyone to watch for free, whether a you’re a subscriber or not, via a new Freeview channel called BT Sport Showcase. The channel will show a minimum of 12 Champions League matches and 14 Europa League games. Not bad at all. Although forgive us for thinking this may be a ploy to get us hooked…
You can’t really argue with BT only charging £5 for the extra coverage. We’ll certainly be watching enough to make it worth our while at least! And for those who are worried Adrian Chiles could make a comeback, Gary Lineker will still have his gig on the BBC for Match of the Day after signing deal last week to stay on until 2020. Phew!