CHAMPIONS LEAGUE football could return to ITV for the 2021-22 season – as BT Sport’s £1.18BILLION deal will expire in 19 months’ time.
BT have had exclusive rights to Europe’s premier football competition since 2015 when they agreed their record deal with Uefa.
ITV have submitted several packages ahead of the deadline for a new deal which will be decided on Monday.
They do not want exclusive rights.
Regardless of this, Uefa are looking into breaking up packages between 2021 and 2024 to enable more TV companies to broadcast matches.
They also plan to sell the final separately as a stand-alone event for the first time ever.
Champions League matches were shown live on terrestrial TV until 2015.
ITV had a package for highlights after that but the Champions League has exclusively been on pay TV since the 2016-17 season.
If BT do not improve their offer they will lose their exclusive rights next season with their present deal scheduled to end in June 2021.
Sky Sports, which also used to show live matches, have also submitted fresh offers to Uefa to get live coverage back on their channels.
The DAZN Group, a London-based sports subscription streaming service, are also very keen to show live Champions League games for the first time ever and have submitted an attractive offer to Uefa.
Amazon Prime successfully won the rights to broadcast live Premier League matches this season.
But they will not be bidding for Champions League matches.
The fear for punters is that, although some matches could be free on ITV, they will also be divided up to be shown on other pay TV channels or streaming services.
That means subscribers may need to buy more than one package, as has happened with the Premier League games this season.
BT Sport’s previous deal worked out to just under £200million a season over six years.
Subscribers pay an average of £15 a month.
The deadline for new TV bids to be received is 10.30am Monday.
Uefa will reveal later that day who will televise the Champions League from 2021-2024.