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Champions League: Poor TV ratings make BT put CL on YouTube

Christoph Pleitgen, senior vice president, sales and business development, EMEA and APAC, of Wochit said:

“BT Sport paid a record £897 million for Champions League and Europa League TV rights but has gotten very little value for money to date. BT Sport’s average peak audience was just 200,000 for this year’s Champion’s League playoffs, compared to ITV’s 4.4 million viewers in 2015.”

“In light of this performance, today’s announcement of its plans to stream on YouTube two finals from European football’s premier club tournaments is not surprising in the least.”

“While on demands services such as Netflix have come to dominate people’s TV viewing habits, sport is very different. Consumers almost exclusively watch sports live, with 95% of total sports programme viewing happening in real time. With the average UK consumer now spending at least five hours a week watching TV, clips and films online, YouTube is a perfect outlet for BT Sport to attempt to maximise its audience, while also attracting the highest paying sponsors. With video content expected to make up a huge 69% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2017, BT Sport is seeking to get ahead of the curve and go to where its audience now is.”

“The recent agreement between the NFL and Twitter is, to date, the landmark moment for traditional broadcasters and is an indication of how sports content will be viewed in future. This new approach, pioneered by many American sports recently, including baseball and basketball, sits outside the traditional UK model of exclusive television broadcasting. It will drive strong growth of viewership numbers and viewer engagement. BT Sport must have been paying very close attention to this development before making today’s significant decision.”