BT Sport will once again transmit the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals for free in the U.K. on YouTube – cementing the video platform’s role as a key free-to-air channel for sports broadcasters.
The coronavirus pandemic has played havoc with the usual schedule of the tournaments, which are usually played out throughout the course of a season, and has led to a change in hosting arrangements.
Istanbul, Turkey was due to host the Champions League final, while Gdansk, Poland was set to be the venue for the conclusion of the Europa League. Both cities will receive an opportunity to host their respective showpieces in 2021.
Champions League final YouTube
But for this year, the remaining Champions League knockout games will take place in Portugal and the Europa League ties in Germany. As many as 26 matches will be played over the course of 19 days, with many viewing the tournaments as a replacement for Euro 2020, which itself was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.
The action begins on August 5th, with the Europa League concluding in Cologne on August 21st and the Champions League final two days later in Lisbon.
In the U.K., BT Sport will show every single game live and will also make a free highlights and magazine show called ‘Club 2020’ available for free on the BT Sport app and on YouTube. As is now customary, viewers will be given the option to watch the action with or without artificial crowd noise added to the production.
“Every game will be available to watch live for BT Sport viewers plus our brand new show, Club 2020 Daily with popular host James Richardson, which will be available to watch for free and will include special on-location features as well as all the latest news, match highlights and topical chat,” declared Simon Green, head of BT Sport.
Ever since it became an official broadcaster in 2015, BT Sport has used YouTube to show free highlights and to transmit the finals. These live broadcasts have attracted millions of viewers and have demonstrated the viability of streaming as a genuine alternative to linear television channels when trying to expand the reach of a competition.
YouTube has positioned itself as an ideal partner for rights holders over the past few years, with highlights of most major soccer competitions now available.
“For the fifth year running, BT Sport will live stream the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Finals for free on their YouTube channel for millions of fans to view on their TVs or mobile devices,” added Richard Lewis, YouTube’s head of UK partnerships.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with BT Sport and extend the opportunity for fans to enjoy one of the most popular annual events on the UK sporting calendar. It’s a great spotlight for BT Sport’s channel which already has a treasure trove of Premier League