BT gets exclusive rights to UEFA Champions League and Europa League

European football has a new home - BT Sport. Here’s everything we know, including what you’ll need to watch the giants of European football clash from the 2015/2016 season.

Ah, the Champion's League. Many is the night we've slumped contentedly in front our screens as the cream of Europe's football royalty go head to head on ITV and Sky.

But things are changing. From 2015, both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will have a new home - BT Sport. For footie fans it's potentially good news - for the first time in at least 10 years there will be a single destination for all the action from European club competitions.

If, like us, you want to continue to be able to follow it as an avid armchair supporter, you'll need to have the right TV package. And here's the bad news for those on a budget - that package isn't Freeview.

So yes, this week BT has announced that it has won - corporate-speak for 'paid a lot of money for' - the rights to broadcast all 350 matches from both tournaments for three seasons starting from the 2015/2016 season.

The bad news is this means you'll have to pay in some form to watch the many of the matches. BT hasn't revealed any details yet though - whether games will be available on a subscription or pay-per-view basis is not yet clear.

Even so, BT has promised that it will show a 'selection' of these matches - including the finals - for free via BT Sport. It's also guaranteed that at least one match per season from each participating British team will be available for free to non-subscribers. This means even if you don't fancy signing up to BT Sport you should still be able to see some Champions League action.

So, how much does European football set you back these days? BT's reportedly shelled out around £299 million a season for the rights. If our maths is right, that's the equivalent of paying Gareth Bale's Real Madrid salary for just over 19 years - not exactly chump change then. In fact, BT's paid more than double the cost of the last rights deal - shared between ITV and Sky.

What do you need to do if you want to keep watching Champions League and Europa League football? Eventually, you'll need to sign up to BT Sport, which is available from BT (well, duh), Sky and Virgin Media. If you've got BT broadband you can watch BT Sport online and on your phone for free.

While many Champions League games are likely to require extra payment, BT assured us that all the current BT Sport line-up, which includes 38 Barclays Premier League matches per season, Aviva Premiership rugby, WTA tennis and more, will remain available to all BT customers for free.

There's no rush to switch to BT Sport though. ITV and Sky still have the rights for the Champions League next season, with the former also still having the rights to the Europa League. It's also worth waiting until BT has announced their full plans for broadcasting the tournaments if you're considering subscribing specifically to watch them.

We'll update you when we know more.

Click here for more about BT Sport

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