Amazon is close to securing a "groundbreaking deal" to broadcast live Champions League soccer in the UK from '24, with highlights returning to terrestrial TV "for the first time in nearly a decade in a midweek BBC Match of Day show." Amazon is understood to be "set to split the UK rights with existing holder BT Sport" in a new deal with UEFA running from '24 until '27. BT, which has aired the Champions League since '15 after beating the then joint holders Sky and ITV with a blockbuster bid, paid £1.2B at the last auction for exclusive rights until '24. UEFA is understood to have secured an increase on the total value of the rights by £250-£300M, thanks to bringing in more partner broadcasters, with BT understood not to have increased its financial commitment but secured more games. The deal, which also includes Europa League and Europa Conference League games, also reflects the expansion of the Champions League to involve 36 clubs each playing eight group stage matches from '24. For Amazon, the rights deal is the "biggest it has struck in the UK and cements its position as a major player in live sports broadcasting" (London GUARDIAN, 6/30).
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