BSkyB has been awarded the lion’s share of Champions League football rights for three years from the 2009 season. Sky is understood to have trumped rivals by tabling an estimated £240m bid.
The satellite broadcaster has been awarded the rights by football governing body UEFA after bidding against a number of UK broadcasters. Although the live rights to the most attractive of “first choice” match on Wednesday nights remain up for grabs, with ITV and the BBC expected to bid for it.
The auction was expected to run for months, but the size of Sky’s bid is believed to have led UEFA to make an early decision.
After the first round of bidding UEFA says Sky emerged as the “clear winner” for a number of rights packages including exclusive coverage of all live matches and highlights on a Tuesday and all matches on a Wednesday, with the exception of the first choice match.
Sky’s package also includes simultaneous coverage of the UEFA Champions League final and UEFA Super Cup, highlights, delayed match coverage and magazine programmes.
UEFA says it has received a number of offers for the remaining rights but that the competitive nature of the bidding has prompted it to invite a second round of bidding.