BT today announced plans to once again make this season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals available for free to as many people as possible, on YouTube, the BT website, BT Sport channels and the app, underlining BT’s commitment to make televised sport more accessible to fans.
The UEFA Champions League final can also be enjoyed this year using the latest broadcast technology, giving viewers the best pictures and the best sound experience available, with the game available for the first time in 4K UHD on YouTube and 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos sound on BT TV.
For the first time ever the UEFA Champions League final will also be available through a number of 360°streams on YouTube and the new BT Sport Virtual Reality App, allowing viewers to choose between a 360°produced programme with commentary and graphics, or select their own camera viewpoint.
The finals will kick-off this year on Wednesday, 24 May with Manchester United’s quest for European glory in the UEFA Europa League final against Dutch legends Ajax in Stockholm. It is not just the trophy up for grabs, as the winners will be guaranteed a spot in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Less than two weeks later the biggest match in world club football will see BT Sport as the host broadcaster for the clash between European giants Real Madrid and Juventus on Saturday, 3 June, from Cardiff’s National Stadium of Wales.
Gary Lineker will be presenting BT Sport’s coverage live from Cardiff and will be joined by UEFA Champions League winners Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Steve McManaman and Owen Hargreaves, who will provide their expert analysis with Darren Fletcher as the commentator.
With BT Sport committed to making televised sport more accessible to more people, the matches this year will be shown live for free on a number of platforms.
BT Sport will remain the exclusive UK home of all live UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football until at least 2020/21, and that will see exclusivity across all live games, including from 2018/19 for the first time highlights and in-match clips of both competitions. From the 2018/19 season BT Sport will enhance its social media coverage to reach new audiences, by making clips, weekly highlights, UEFA’s magazine show, and both finals available for free on social media.
John Petter, CEO BT Consumer, said: “Making the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League available for free to everyone in the UK shows that BT really is serious about making sport much more accessible to the public. These are two of the biggest club football tournaments in the world and showing them live on social media and on mobile devices makes it more readily available to a younger audience as well as available to traditional TV viewers.”
“BT Sport wants to offer the best possible experience to our viewers and so for this year’s UEFA Champions League final not only are we broadcasting in 4K UHD with Dolby Atmos sound, our live YouTube stream will also be available in 4K UHD. We will also be making the UEFA Champions League final available live via multiple 360°cameras. This will mean viewers will be able to watch on YouTube or via the new BT Sport VR App, either watching a directed programme with commentary and graphics or they can choose their position to view from eight locations in the stadium.”
“We believe that VR can offer our viewers an immersive second screen view which will enhance our coverage. We’re excited to be broadcasting what we believe to be the biggest multi-camera live 360° sporting event ever for the first time to our customers.”
YouTube’s Senior Director in EMEA, Stephen Nuttall says: “Our users love football, so we’re seriously excited to bring BT Sport’s ground-breaking coverage of these two massive games LIVE on YouTube, for a second year running. Fans today expect quality content on every screen and this partnership delivers just that. People can enjoy it wherever they are, on any screen and experience new ways of watching the beautiful game. Super high resolution, 360° VR – we can’t wait.”