ITV talks to BT over live Champions League games

Could BT sell the rights to some Champions League games to ITV?

ITV has begun talks with BT over sublicensing some of BT's games, according to The Sunday Times. 

The broadcaster, led by Dame Carolyn McCall, wants to bring live coverage of Europe’s most prestigious football competition back to free-to-air terrestrial television after losing out against BT in last year's auction of UK broadcasting rights.

Free-to-air live Champions League coverage has been absent from UK screens for the past few seasons. When BT first took over the rights in 2015, it originally screened a small selection of games on its now defunct BT Showcase Freeview channel and ITV screened highlights. But since 2018, BT has total control of all rights, which has taken the pan-European club championship off the radar for many casual sports fans.

BT must now decide if it wants to give the Champions League wider exposure to gather more public interest in the event, or whether it's happy to keep all live coverage behind a paywall to boost the value of its subscription.