Champions League rights auction: BT’s cost-cutting opportunity

Report Overview

Champions League rights auction: BT’s cost-cutting opportunity

Already a Subscriber? Login here to view Full Report

Champions League rights auction: BT’s cost-cutting opportunity
Champions League UK TV rights, at £394m/season, appear to have reached a ceiling, with costs on a per match basis now comparable to the more-desirable Premier League
In the imminent auction, current rightsholder BT is the clear frontrunner. Potential competitors appear reluctant: Sky Sports has thrived since losing the rights in 2015, and no other players can reasonably compete at this spend
This presents BT with a golden opportunity to rein in costs, with a view to moving BT Sport towards breakeven at an important time for the wider business, considering the financial pressure it is facing

Contents

Recent history of Champions League rights: soaring costs

  • A view on viewership

The upcoming auction for 2021/22-2023/24

Who is likely to bid?

  • BT
  • Sky
  • Free-to-air broadcasters
  • Other challengers?

Conclusion

List of charts/tables

Figure 1: Champions League live UK broadcast rights costs (£m/season) Figure 2: Top football live UK broadcast rights costs (index 2010/11 season = 100) Figure 3: Average live UK broadcast rights cost per match (£m) Figure 4: Specific sport-related reasons for taking Sky Sports in 2014 Figure 5: Average TV audience of football matches, by season (m) Figure 6: Sky Sports pay-TV channels quarterly household reach, by TV platform (m) Figure 7: Current Champions League live UK broadcast rights cost as a proportion of UK broadcasters’ total TV content spend